Past performance is no guarantee of future results
The real reason why lawyers love credentials so much, and how it makes us fragile and disconnected from reality
In the legal profession we tend to overvalue past performance. This is the underlying principle behind why lawyers value resumes so much. We believe that if someone endures a highly competitive process and earns a difficult-to-attain credential, it’s a strong predictor of their future performance. As far as heuristics go, it’s not the worst one in the world.
But us lawyers take it too far.
The inspiration for this article came from a Twitter post my very successful lawyer friend Matt Margolis posted this week.
The post was quote tweeted by a flood of other successful lawyers who similarly struck out at OCI. I’ve always known that law firm recruiting was imperfect. But reading all these stories took it to another level. Which made me wonder.
Why do we overvalue past performance in law? What’s up with our obsession about credentials? And what implications does all this have on how the broader legal industry?