The Grey Zone: The Perspectives of Aging Lawyers Towards Retirement

Angela Melville, Valerie Caines

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Many of Australia’s solicitors are aging. In 2016, 7% of Australian solicitors were aged 65 years and older, and another 14% were aged 55 to 65 years. The mean age of solicitors has risen since 2011, when national data was first collected, with the oldest cohort of solicitors aged 65 years and older rising over 23%. This issue of aging lawyers is not limited to Australia, for instance the American Bar Association has warned of ‘senior tsunami’ of age-impaired lawyers. Aging lawyers may encounter cognitive and physical impairment, be responsible for a disproportion amount of client complaints, struggle with new technologies, block younger lawyers from entering the profession, and therefore the need to assist aging lawyers to positively transition into retirement is now pressing. Despite this, there has been no previous empirical research on the needs and experiences of aging lawyers. This paper presents the first study in any jurisdiction that directly investigates the perspectives and needs of aging lawyers, the support that is in place, and the barriers that they face in obtaining this support. This paper also investigates the ways in which lawyers’ self-identify shape their expectations and attitudes towards retirement.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventLinking generations in global justice - Onati, Spain
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Sep 2019


ConferenceLinking generations in global justice
Internet address


  • legal profession
  • Retirement
  • retirees


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