Many law firms throughout the US and Canada have a significant proportion of baby boomer aged partners that control a significant proportion of their law firm’s clients and revenues. For many law firms, their future success—and even survival—may depend on how they manage the transition of clients and revenue to the next generation of owners. Older is the new normal, and this is not only changing what it means to age, it is changing how we live, and it is permanently altering the courses of our lives. The legal profession, like all of society, is being challenged to design new approaches that give us more and better choices for living longer and better lives. Aging of the workforce is a phenomenon that the legal profession can no longer ignore.
Aging is not just about people fifty and older; it affects people of all generations. Individuals are living longer, healthier lives, so, we are constantly on the lookout for new ways of experiencing the world. Young lawyers as well as mid-career lawyers are just as interested in discovering new ways of knowing and being as more senior lawyers who are looking to possibly begin to wind-down their life’s work. Society’s view of aging is changing by driving a new social consciousness and sparking innovative solutions for all generations. Our purpose in building this online community is to begin to change the conversation about what it means to grow older in today’s legal profession.
This online community will focus on new approaches for law firms to better serve the large number of baby boomer attorneys preparing to transition away from full-time law practice, as well as new approaches to personal development for the equally large number of Millennials, young attorneys seeking growth in the profession. People don’t live their lives in silos, and lawyers looking to move away from full time law practice cannot make this transition without forming better working relationships with young lawyers who are interested in moving into full time law practice. Too little has been written to help these young lawyers deal more effectively with life’s transitions. We will be developing resources to help individual lawyers of all ages, law firms of all sizes, and the profession as a whole to establish a new social consciousness for the profession that should spark innovative solutions to benefit all generations.
Aging lawyers have traditionally had very few retirement options. We will explore how new retirement models can be used to help the large number of senior practitioners move away from full-time practice – on their own terms. We will show why it is important for law firms to encourage all lawyers to explore life’s transitions as an important part of career development and growth. We will also demonstrate how better managed transition plans can also benefit the law firm itself.
Our goal is to help lawyers co-create themselves. We believe lawyers of all ages need a process—a design process—for figuring out what they want, whom they want to grow into, and how to create a life they love. We will introduce you to design thinking strategies as a way to create a life that is meaningful, joyful, and fulfilling.
Finally, we hope to show law firm leaders how they need to change cultures to begin proactively incorporating a number of converging social and demographic trends into their workforce-planning activities. We will show how individuals and law firms can build greater support networks for life’s transitions that take place throughout everyone’s career.