Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers conducted a survey of over 27,000 lawyers across the country about the qualities, skills and competencies necessary for new lawyers. Almost 73 percent said having a "strong moral compass" is necessary for a lawyer to be successful in the short term. Only 17 (out of 147) other skills, competencies and characteristics, received a higher percentage of votes. Included among these were "treat others with courtesy and respect" (91.9 percent), act with "integrity and trustworthiness" (92.3 percent), and "honor commitments" (93.9 percent).
The full results of the survey have not been published, but were presented to a small group of lawyers earlier this month. And the full picture is even richer and more comprehensive. When the full results are available next year, it will be interesting to see if we can determine whether these types of characteristics reflect qualities that the respondents find lacking among the lawyers they encounter or whether the respondents believe these are important traits that they seek to cultivate within themselves - or perhaps both.
Van Cleave, Rachel A., "Who should be our moral compass now?" (2015). Publications. 750.