If you are thinking of applying to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, you will now have to demonstrate you have some emotional intelligence skills.
Last month, the Tuck School announced that it would henceforth look for applicants who, in addition to being smart and accomplished, possess two other qualities: nice and aware. Or, as compressed on Twitter, “don’t be a jerk.”
“What we’re looking for is emotional intelligence, empathy and respect for others,” Luke Anthony Peña, executive director of admissions and financial aid at Tuck, said. “Tuck is a distinctly collaborative community, so being able to challenge others tactfully and thoughtfully is important.”
Traditional evaluations of grades, test scores and experiences will be supplemented with the addition of questions on applicant essays and recommendation forms that get to the “nice and aware” attributes. Applicants will be asked: “Tuck students are nice, and invest generously in one another’s success. Share an example of how you helped someone else succeed.” Those submitting references will be asked to respond to this statement: “Tuck students are nice. Please comment on how the candidate interacts with others including when the interaction is difficult or challenging.”
Following closely this approach to applications, which is spreading through US business schools, law schools across the country are starting to….
Oh, wait, that, of course, is not the case. While law schools are dropping the requirement of applicants providing LSATs and other types of cognitive scores, they aren’t about to join the anti-jerk movement any time soon. How could law schools justify such a move when law firms and law departments reward such attributes in some of their highest earning professionals?
Let’s not focus on “nice.” Let’s just start with “aware.” That is the first challenge for lawyers worldwide–realizing that expertise, including legal expertise, is of much greater value if it is delivered to clients, staff and adversaries in an emotionally sophisticated way. In other words, gaining that “awareness” that Tuck has homed in on in its application process.