Can I weasel into Biglaw over the corpse of a Baby Boomer?

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Can I weasel into Biglaw over the corpse of a Baby Boomer?

Postby flcath » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:58 am

What effect, if any, will the aging of the Baby Boom generation have on employment prospects for current law students in the short and long term?

So let me first say that I have no fucking idea. Could be nothing, could be huge. I dunno.

In healthcare (the field in which my family works), the aging of the Baby Boom generation gets a lot of air time, as it does in discussions on the sustained solvency of the nation's social security program. The bare bones of the phenomenon, for those unfamiliar with it, is that the large number (much larger than previous generations and even slightly larger than subsequent generations) of individuals born in the middle of the 20th century is reaching retirement age, which means that our nation as a whole will go from (the current state) being ~12.8% 65-years of age and older, to roughly 19.6% 65-years and older by 2030. (citation, see the bottom of page 9/70 in the .pdf) Though these two data points were all I could find in my cursory search, the point is that the *rate* of retirement and the portion of the population retired is now constantly rising (with a looming surge), and will continue to rise until 2050.


My question is what effect will this have (a) on the job market--some of these people retiring are lawyers--for both entry-level positions, advancement in a firm, or secondary/lateral moves and (b) what effect, if any, will there be on the demand for legal services (old people require more healthcare, is there a correlation either way with legal services)?


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Re: Can I weasel into Biglaw over the corpse of a Baby Boomer?

Postby DukeHopeful » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:12 am

I'm not sure if this fits in with what you're talking about entirely, but I have talked to a few people who thought the partner track might take a little bit longer because of the hit in the economy. A lot of people who might have planned on retiring in the next few years will most likely be forced to reconsider if their retirement accounts were hit hard enough. Less partners retiring on time would mean a back up in the system, right?

I think you are right though about the demand for health care certainly increasing (my family is in the same field, and I feel like I've heard the pros and cons of this discussion a hundred times), though I think it's hard to predict what effect that might have on demand for legal services. IMO the whole health care reform issue could have a lot greater impact than the rising demand for health care, as it has the potential to really change the way the game is played. Just for possible examples, if the government were to eventually consolidate the system to a single government entity, I feel like that would really restrict the amount of private practice legal demand. Also, many have talked about how the cost of malpractice insurance is such a burden on overall health care costs, so if any tort reform were to come along that too would have an effect on legal demand.

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