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The marginal edge: Using Zinc to be a better lawyer

By J. DeVoy

From what I’ve observed and in my admittedly short experience, good lawyers arise from knowing the facts of a case, knowing the applicable law, and merging them to find creative solutions to difficult problems.  Other personality traits drive how these skills are expressed in real life, though, such as risk aversion, ethics/morality, and, for lack of a more artful term, selfishness.  Assuming two lawyers are of equal skill and ability, these secondary traits can turn an endurable result into a good one.  Experience doesn’t fully develop these innate traits, though, and there are chemical components to them – which can be purchased for pennies a day.

Zinc boosts testosterone production, and just 50 mg of the stuff is 333% of a daily recommended dose.  The reasons why a litigator or transactional attorney would want as much testosterone are fairly obvious, as testosterone does the following:

  • It affects your risk aversion in a dominance challenge (i.e. fight-or-flight response)
  • It increases risk tolerance in financial decisions
  • It increases mental and physical energy (source.)

Among other things, testosterone is linked to aggression, which can intimidate an opponent or be channeled into obtaining a desirable result. (source.)  While having an elevated testosterone level will not compensate for being a terrible lawyer, it will confer a marginal advantage, and may be enough to give a consistent advantage over an equally or better skilled adversary with lower testosterone.  For example, male testosterone levels decrease with fatherhood.  Men also have lower testosterone levels when they are in love; conversely, women have higher testosterone levels when in the same state.  (This may partially explain why women fall out of love and say their partner is no longer the man they fell in love with.) (source.)

A 200-count bottle of 50 mg Zinc tablets is about $5.  It’s not a cure-all and your mileage may vary; someone with high natural testosterone, or who eats a lot of meat, may not see a substantial difference from taking Zinc supplements.  At the margins, though, Zinc may be a tool for getting better results for clients.

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