The nature of legal services is drastically changing given the rise in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Legal education and training models are beginning to recognize the need to incorporate skill building in data and technology platforms, but they have lost sight of a core competency for lawyers: problem-solving and decision-making skills to counsel clients on how best to meet their desired goals and needs. In 2014, Amani Smathers introduced the legal field to the concept of the T-shaped lawyer. The T-shaped lawyer stems from the concept of T-shaped professionals who have a depth of knowledge in their chosen discipline and a breadth of knowledge in other tangentially related disciplines in order to enhance collaboration with other professionals. The concept of a T-shaped lawyer recognizes that lawyers not only need in-depth legal knowledge and skills but an understanding of data, technology, project management, and process improvement to be competent legal professionals. The T-shaped lawyer brought attention to the need for lawyers and law students to expand their training and begin learning about artificial intelligence, design thinking, data analytics, and more. However, the T-shaped lawyer obscures the core competency of decision-making and problem-solving. This paper introduces the Delta Model for legal professional competency that not only recognizes the need for lawyers to have deep legal knowledge and skills, as well as an understanding of data and technology, but also recognizes the need for emotional intelligence in decision-making and problem-solving. The Delta Model could reshape how we approach legal education and lawyer training, providing a structure that more accurately reflects the breadth of skills that a twenty-first-century lawyer needs.
Legal Intelligence Through Artificial Intelligence Requires Emotional Intelligence: A New Competency Model for the 21st Century Legal Professional,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol35/iss4/4