Vermont’s lawyers are the 2nd oldest in the nation, after Maine’s. This could mean that we are the wisest, that there are few young lawyers joining the practice, or that lawyers just don’t know when to hang up their shingles.
I ponder these things for myself. Like most people, I am not an expert on evaluating myself; I need other people to give me honest feedback. Luckily I have one younger and one much younger partner who are brutally honest and also mostly kind, to tell me the truth to my face, such as, “that color doesn’t look good on you,” or “when was the last time you had your hair cut?” But telling a close associate that she’s over the hill and losing her edge is not easy. So, we have regular meetings about my retirement and of course other things important to our firm, where we check in with each other about our health, our mental health, our energy for the practice. So far, I’m told I’m still good to go, and I intend to keep going while I still feel healthy and energetic, and my younger partners want me around.
I hope the other aging lawyers out there are allowing others to take their pulse every once in a while. I hope they are keeping an eye on their health and wellbeing to make sure our bar is vibrant and competent, rather than a statistic that makes people wonder about us.