In today’s tech world, we celebrate the wunderkind – like the founders of Facebook or Google – who achieved so much at an early age. Law isn’t all that different when it comes to early achievement – which accolades like law review and judicial clerkship and second year jobs at biglaw often based entirely on first-year grades.
But turns out that people have the capacity to achieve and succeed at any age. Last year, the Harvard Business Review reported that the average age of a successful startup founder is actually 45 , contrary to conventional wisdom which might peg it as much younger. Moreover, putting a shelf-life of 35 on success is a pretty depressing concept in an era where people are living longer, healthier lives and looking towards second and third acts. This is true in particular for women, who may have put careers on hold or stepped out of the workforce during their child-rearing years but still want to attain professional success. And they’re finding that success, particularly by leveraging life experience and focusing on services that cater to other women over 50, according to this story.
In the legal profession and particularly with a declining economy, much of the focus on starting a law firm rests on younger graduates just out of school. But there are plenty of examples of later in life law firm startups. For example, there’s Larry Exner, an accomplished litigator and appellate practitioner who owns Capital Appellate Advocacy who was profiled in this local news story . Two years ago, I featured law firm owner Roberta Kaplan who shortly before her 50th birthday traded in her biglaw job for her own firm which has since grown to lots of lawyers .
Maybe you’ve attained professional and financial success in your legal career but still feel that there’s something missing. Or maybe you left the law to raise your family and regret never having done more with your law degree. It’s never too late to start a law firm and to become the lawyer you once dreamed of being. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.