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State Bar Eases Transition For Retiring Lawyers:
As Profession Turns Gray, Boomers Search For Ways To Remain Active

Brad Carr
Alabama State Bar
Public Information Officer
(334) 517-2128 or
(334) 782-2781
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Montgomery, Ala., September 22, 2009 – In a move to stem the brain-drain as baby boom lawyers retire from law practice, the Alabama State Bar has created a Senior Lawyers Section.

In fact, the U.S. legal profession is expecting a massive number of lawyers to leave the full-time, active practice of law over the next 10-15 years. According to some estimates, the nation as a whole could lose as many as 400,000 of the one million lawyers currently in practice. In Alabama, 32 percent of the state bar's membership is currently age 55 or older.

State Bar President Thomas J. Methvin of Montgomery (Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.) said, "By creating the Senior Lawyers Section, lawyers leaving full-time, often long-term practices can still remain active in the law and committed to their communities."

Like boomers in other professions, lawyers are reinventing retirement, and the unanimous vote by the bar's Board of Bar Commissioners, its decision and policy-making body, will provide support for many possible options.

As Methvin noted, "Senior lawyers can serve as mentors to younger lawyers, sit on boards of business and charitable organizations, provide pro bono service to help the poor and disadvantaged, counsel those seeking career transitions, deliver legal education lectures and write scholarly articles."

A task force co-chaired by Phillip E. Adams, Jr., of Opelika and Broox G. Holmes of Mobile surveyed ASB members 55 and older in order to determine interest in creating the section. Other members of the task force who assisted in evaluating the responses were: Billy C. Bedsole, Mobile; William N. Clark, Birmingham; Robert G. Esdale, Montgomery; Robert E. Moorer, Birmingham; Drayton Nabers, Jr., and Arthur Grey Till, Jr., Birmingham. Alabama is the tenth state bar to create an entity that appeals to this demographic.

The 16,000-member Alabama State Bar is dedicated to improving the administration of justice and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.