Last week, the New York Times reported that since May there has been an increase in the number of start-ups by Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 who started new businesses with record-breaking clips even before the pandemic broke out. Some of the new senior founders started necessary businesses after layoffs, while others saw opportunities to do purposeful work. A career coach quoted in the article said:
It hits you, especially during the coronavirus crisis, that time no longer feels unlimited … you are aware that your own clock is ticking. Since you don’t have a seemingly endless prospect of work ahead of you, you can be motivated to finally retool and learn a new profession, or just try something different.
It is unclear whether these statistics also apply to lawyers. I am aware that some senior lawyers who were still doing dinosaur, paper, brick, and mortar practices decided to wind things up instead of building a company that was focused on the future. But I have to believe that there are other lawyers who are deep in their careers and ready to take the plunge – after all, life is too short.
Starting a new business later in life can prove challenging, and yet, as Steve Jobs famously said, being a beginner who can set free and unleash creativity in ways that is not possible when it is weighed down by the severity of longevity and success.
Perhaps as a partner at biglaw you have made all the money you need and more – but are you longing for something new. Perhaps you annoyed and ignored the idea of starting a company for decades. Or maybe you just feel like you’ve never reached your full potential in law. It’s never too late to start a law firm.