Lawyers at Midlife: Laying the Groundwork for the Road Ahead
By Michael Long, John Clyde, Pat Funk (Seattle: DecisionBooks, 2008)
Michael Long, JD/MSW, an attorney/counselor for the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program, is a true thought leader in the area of retirement-planning assistance and programming for lawyers. John Clyde, a certified financial planner, developed and conducted retirement workshops for state employees in the Pacific Northwest, and Pat Funk is a financial planning professional who conducted seminars for legal professionals preparing for their financial transition into retirement.
This book was first published in 2008, long before the exist of baby boomers leaving the profession in such numbers. The book’s strength is in the stories of struggles of lawyers at midlife. They put a face on the transition process, and help you understand that you’re not alone. This nuts-and-bolts planning guide provides worksheets and assessments to help the reader examine expectations and priorities in retirement, timing and logistical issues, assets and financial benefits, estate-planning, and considerations involved in closing a law practice.
I had the pleasure of contributing to this book in the area of retaining Boomer Leadership and Expertise something I have been talking about for years. I found it interesting re-reading my comments on page 153 where I said, “Senior lawyers or pre-retirees are clearly not looking to fade away. They want to find fulfilling activities. They want enriching endeavors. Certainly, they want to leisure… At times, and they naturally want to have fun. But, contrary to the popular media view of retirement, the most important thing lawyers anticipating retirement are looking for is their own fulfillment… Their own sense of purpose and meaning.” This sate statement clearly seems to hold true today.
If you can find this book still in print, it is a very good starting point to understand some of the challenges facing the profession.