Look, I'm not now and  I will never argue that emotional intelligence is not a vital skill set for lawyers; it is... fact.  But, those firms who are brushing up their soft skills "amid rising concerns about robot competition" are, in my opinion, treading water.  With the best will in the world you could pitch the nicest pitch you have ever pitched in your pitching career, but what happens when Joe Bloggs comes along (and Joey known for being as  nice as the next guy) with something to sweeten the pot?  Joey has technology.  Technology that can streamline processes and free up his workforce to conduct more meaningful work.  Time, even, to build that stronger rapport with the client.  

I guess what I'm saying here is yes, do go to those soft skills workshops and do invest in that sort of training for your workforce, but not in isolation.  A good rapport isn't going to increase the value of what you do for your clients as much an improvement in efficiency can. We should be taking the two hand in hand and offering clients a great culture driven by efficient technology.