Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Make Way for the New Blood!

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.


  1. This reminds me of the situation with graduate school. Back in the 80s they were saying that there was going to be a huge shortage of professors as colleges got hit with a big wave of retirements.

    Of course that wave never materialized and there are lots and lots of unemployed PhDs.

    Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was much more common to have governors or congressmen in their 30s. Probably in large part because life expectancies were so much shorter then.

    Of course it's wonderful that people are living and working longer now. But still, it's rough on young people who are trying to break into the establishment and find more and more barriers in their way.

  2. Angel,

    See, you just don't know true opportunity when you see it. You should have tried to hook up with the lettuce-eater.

    Easy Street, baby. Easy Street. Just think about how simple it would be to whip up dinner for him too! Then he'd be right to sleep. You'd hardly have to see him.

    Maybe it's not too late to show up with a little side salad and cup of apple sauce?


  3. Doug,

    Reading your posts makes my skin crawl. Here's hoping you get hit by a bus.

  4. ...and then follow that up with a Mack truck!

  5. Hey, if I do get hit by a bus maybe I can get one of you toilet-JD folks to file suit for me, huh?

    I think I'd go for the JD Underdog though. Angel already had a shot at the bigtime and now won't "get out of bed for less than $72,000 per year!"



  6. I appreciate that you read my posts... but that number has drastically decreased. I'm allowed to change my mind. I'm a woman. BTW, I'm pretty damn sure you're admin for a school. Otherwise, I can't reconcile what you say with your plans of going to law school. I don't think you're insane. So, what school are you associated with? Career Services? Law Librarian?

  7. This Doug has to be a troll. It's unreal!

    Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if the boomers stayed in their jobs as long as humanly possible. We're a nation of debtors who don't like to save. How will most of them be able to afford to retire?

    I will probably be greeting people at Wal-mart or something when I'm 80.



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