Older Lawyers vs. Younger Lawyers: Just an Observation

I have only been practicing law for three years now. Not enough to call myself an expert at anything but a little more than a rookie.  I never wanted to be a lawyer and only knew one lawyer growing up, Hank Bufkin. I would not describe him as a stereotypical attorney but certainly a professional in every sense of the word.

I have observed some amusing differences in older attorneys (o.a.) vs. younger attorneys (y.a.) outside the obvious age difference. My observations:

  1. Practicing law back in the day was steeped in tradition, formalities, and camaraderie unparalleled to today.
  2. A.’s don’t want to mess with social media, aka web 2.0, bullshit. Their education afforded them intelligence with the written and spoken English language so they will write letters and make phone calls.
  3. A.’s have given their patience enough practice over the years, you best not push it. I have only sat through several dozen depositions; I could not imagine several hundred. The same with client interviews.
  4. Cynicismgrows with age. (I asked for assistance from Bradley Bledsoe and this was his first response.)  After reading one definition in Wikipedia that stated: “a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions” and a tendency “to express this by sneers and sarcasms”.  I thought immediately of an O.A.-  Bill Duncan a Travelers Insurance defense attorney, that I work against often.
  5. A.’s exemplify their generational gap in the lack of attention to detail and desire for immediate satisfaction, settlement, or disposition as it relates in law.
  6. A.’s grow more skeptical with the so called “partner track”(Click for WSJ article). I think some of my peers have had their eyes opened by Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme and see some striking similarities. Young buy in, old get return on investment.
  7. Regardless of age, I have noticed that there are going to be those that work and buy into the system. While there are those that don’t buy into or work for the system.
  8. A.’s like acting like lawyers, while O.A.’s like being lawyers.
  9. A.’s look up Latin phrases. O.A.’s know Latin phrases.
  10. A.’s are more inclined to interject light heart ed, comedy, or off handed comments in a legal setting, while Y.A.’s are more inclined to be professional “on set”. I attribute this to the  experience variance between the two. O.A.’s know what they are doing in a courtroom, for the most part, and are more confident.


Wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it Goes!

Young attorneys and older attorneys are different. Ahhhhhh Haahhhhhh! Thank you very much!