May It Please The Court

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Quote of the Day - If you're a 27, 28-year-old lawyer, the idea of walking Capitol Hill for 30 minutes with a justice of the Supreme Court and discussing and arguing about cases, that's as cool as it gets. - Dean Colson (not of a law school)
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Yikes! We're Running Out Of Lawyers

Well, at least we're getting older, and older much faster than before.  It's a proven fact that as you get older, time passes on a geometric scale - especially compared to young kids (aka your grandchildren), who count their age by the half year.

In fact, an article in this month's California Bar Journal claims that the average age of a California attorney is 47.  Last year a whopping 35% of us were over 55 (MIPTC has hit the half century mark, but I'm not in that statistic yet, thank you very much).  As proof of my theorem, the article further notes in 2001, only 24% of us were over 55, but way back in 1991, a mere 14% of us were over 55.

You do the math.

The article focuses on lawyers in firms pushing retirement and how the demands of a fast-paced, cash-intense billable hour structure designed to cut out dead wood in law firms encourage earlier retirement year after year.  Right.  Go become a law professor.  I think not.  But when I read the article, what struck me was the rapid increase in the age of the lawyers surveyed, disproportionate to the gap of years in between.  Even I can do that math, despite not having a degree from MIT.  Perhaps it's second career switches, perhaps more lawyers are willing to report their age, perhaps more accurately.

But whatever the reason, it's clear lawyers are greying at a faster rate than before.  Just look at my beard and hair - I'm a prime example.  Couple that with the uptick in lawyers retiring early and - believe it or not - human resources plans to get attorneys to retire early, we have a recipe for disaster.

Before you know it, we'll run out of lawyers.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 22:24 Comments (0)


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