Making practice more affective: Emotional intelligence as a legal meta-competency

Emma Jones


This paper examines the emergent interest in the affective domain that has become evident both within facets of legal education and amongst the legal profession.  It argues that emotional intelligence is an important meta-competency which encompasses a range of emotional competencies that are crucial for entry into, and success within, the legal profession.   Acknowledging the importance of emotional intelligence, unpacking the abilities and traits it encompasses, and using it as the beginning of a more nuanced, detailed examination of emotional competencies will successfully integrate the affective domain into lawyering in a way which is both professionally and personally beneficial.  Therefore, emotional intelligence should be included as an integral part of both legal education and training and also continued professional development for solicitors, barristers and other legal professionals.

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