Friday, December 8, 2006
Today's New York Times features a story about former Weil Gotshal & Manges partner, A. Paul Victor, left, a luminary of the antitrust litigation bar, who hit the mandatory retirement age, wanted to keep working, and ended up down the street at Dewey Ballantine. The story highlights the more general issue of mandatory retirement ages, largely falling away in the face of the aging baby boomer population, but still in place at many law firms.
At 68, Victor is not a boomer. I am. But his situation sends chills down my spine. I can't imagine ever "retiring," whatever that means. I can imagine regenerating, but I've done that several times now. But "retiring" sounds like living death.
My hope is for a wave of old fart re-invention. What is the old saw? "Learn, then earn, then return." One of my best friends in Indianapolis took early retirement from Eli Lilly, then went back to school, got his Master's in Social Work, and spends part of his time counseling troubled teens in inner city schools. One of my former partners (he was one of the "old guys" in his forties when I started in the law firm) does alternative dispute resolution, and teaches it as an adjunct professor.