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Mandatory Age Restrictions at Law Firms - A Good Thing?

Goldman_melvin In 2006, mandatory retirement age restrictions at large law firms became a "hot button" issue in the media. Click here for an article recently appearing on that interviews various senior attorneys (age 70+) at major law firms about how their roles changed as they hit the age restrictions at their respective firms. The article also covers the pros and cons of mandatory age restrictions.

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Baby Boomers for the most part are not going to flock to Florida to lie on the beach and play golf- the traditional retirement metaphor at the traditional retirement age. They are too vigorous, seeking intellectual stimulation, and wanting to continue to contribute.

We are going to see dramatic changes for this generation. In my firm's research, our work for client firms and blog ( we focus on the need for advance transitional planning and help firms and individuals do it. It makes no sense for all people of a certain age to have the same career trajectory and span, and it makes no sense fot the firms that can continue to benefit from their contributions. Some practices, such as estate planning, benefit from seasoned lawyers who have nurtured clients and their wills for many years. It really begins to pay off with administration of estates. This is just one example. Other types of practices might be better off with a predominance of younger partners.

I believe in policies where any lawyer who wants to stay on beyond the traditional retirement age (whatever that may be in a particular firm) submits a business plan and makes a business case for continuing, showing how he or she will contribute to the firm. That's a win-win providing both opportunity and accountability.

I invite anyone interested to check out and comment there as well.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot

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