The Graying of the Bar: Paper and the Older Lawyer - Both Are Here to Stay

Published in Legal Management, July/August 2007

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How old can a lawyer be and still practice effectively? Two news stories published last year addressed that question. An article in The Seattle Times about the "graying of the bar" noted that 66 percent of the members of the Washington State Bar were age 41 or older, and that 10 percent were age 60 or older. It subsequently declared that "incompetence due to declining skills, failure to keep pace, or dwindling mental acuity may soon rise in the legal profession."

That seems overblown enough, but a second item described a new regulation in India (where legal work is increasingly being outsourced) stating that if you are not licensed by age 45, you cannot become an advocate. "We don't want the Bar to become parking lots for retirees," one official was quoted as saying.

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