I was riding a bus with a neighbor today. I was telling him that the law industry is done because there are too many attorneys. Until the glut is gone (circa 2020, if we're lucky), there's no place for more attorneys and certainly no place for laid off attorneys like myself. I want out. He asked a simple and innocent question:
"But won't there eventually be a need for lawyers? What happens when the current lawyers retire?"
Case in point. Robert Morgenthau.
Oh, you don't know who he is? He is the previous District Attorney of Manhattan. After thirty-five years of service, Mr. Morgenthau retired at the ripe old age of 89. Yep. He is ready to enjoy the rest of his life, free of the confounds of a legal career. Do people even live that long? There was lots of pressure on him to retire. Otherwise, I doubt he would have. Someone probably sat him down and said, "Sir, your slur is becoming a problem."
Yah, he's got no slur. He's sharp as a whip. Just like all attorneys without Alzheimers.
So, my answer to my neighbor was, "Lawyers don't retire. They die. And they don't die young, either."
I worked at a firm where the head partner died of a heart attack on the bus on the way to work. He too was 89.
At the big firm that I worked at, there was a skeleton of an old man that I would see on occasion. I'm sure he was a partner at that point. He must have been 105. He would go to the firm cafeteria every day for lunch and get a sliver of an apple and piece of lettuce to chow down on. As most people should know by now, the secret to longevity is to barely eat. I'm sure he's aiming to retire any day now. Yah, right.
So, without a large amount of lawyers retiring at 65--there will continue to be a glut of attorneys until law schools stop pumping new lawyers out. Why would attorneys retire? They don't have a fatty pension to look forward too. I'm convinced that the old bags I've worked with and opposed to don't have the money to slow down. They leave their young 3rd wives destitute and penniless.
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