If you read my post on Tuesday, you know I had surgery that morning. The surgeon had come highly recommended and I am sure he did a great job. But, he’s also just a good guy. He knows how to interact with his patients.

Years ago, my old law firm only hired students in the top 10% of their class at law schools of a certain tier. I thought this was a big mistake and told our leaders we were getting very smart students with little or no people skills.

(As an aside, even though I had finished number 3 in my law school class, I’m not sure my law school would have been a high enough tier for me to get hired by our firm.)

If all we wanted were lawyers who could research and write, then we were on the right track. But if we wanted lawyers who could connect with clients and potential clients, we could do better.

Bus Man vision looking up

When I mentioned the importance of hiring students with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) I received a blank stare. A couple of years ago I wrote: What Skills do Rainmakers Have? In that post I discussed some of the EQ traits I see in rainmakers and future rainmakers I coach.

In 2011, I wrote: If Med Schools Look At More Than Grades, Why Shouldn’t Law Schools and Law Firms?

The other day I was searching for something and came across a Huffington Post article: Future Lawyers Should Be Screened and Trained for Empathy. It supported the points I made in my 2011 blog post, but included information I didn’t know.

If you have a few minutes, I think you will find it interesting. At the beginning you will find a reference to a post about training doctors to have empathy. This quote reminded me of my surgeon.

While we all want great medical care, we also want doctors who listen to us and convey empathy—an understanding of our feelings and concerns, reflected in a warm demeanor. This can help us to trust and feel connected to them. But that combination can be hard to find….

Aren’t clients looking for the same combination?