Altman-Weil recently released their 2016 Law Firms in Transition Flash Survey. We were particularly struck by the finding that of the law firm leaders canvassed, almost 60% reported moderate or high concern about their own law firm’s preparedness to deal with retirement and succession of Baby Boomers.

US law firms are not alone. Such concerns are shared by a number of City law firms.

One of the challenges is that Baby Boomer partners in law firms often don’t want to go. They know that everyone has to leave their law firm at some stage. It is just that they would prefer it to be not quite yet.

What is needed is a change of mindset – for firms in the way they handle senior partners and their careers, and for partners in the way they address their perception of retirement. But resistance to change is all too often the default in law firms. As the Survey noted,

The slower pace of internal change in many firms is attributable not to lack of awareness or will among law firm leaders but to low awareness and high resistance among their partners.

One result is that conversations about retirement and succession are fraught with challenge.

We would be very interested to know the steps your firm is taking to address these concerns.

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