Years out of practice or in the department are NOT indicators of promotability

Breathing another year doesn’t justify a raise or promotion; law departments should not promote people only because of time in grade, like social passing in schools. Well-managed law departments make an effort to explain what competencies are expected of their lawyers for each level of advancement (See my posts of Sept. 25, 2005 and Nov. 28, 2005.)

Being long in the tooth as a lawyer can have drawbacks. These include rigidity, reduced energy, attitudinal dysfunctions, and sometimes diminished productivity.

The gains from years of experience balance the ledger, as they include seasoned judgment, more patience, wider social networks, a longer-term perspective, and deeper institutional knowledge. (See my posts of April 18, 2005 on average age [35 in one department] and years with the law department; and June 12, 2005 and March 16, 2006 on knowledge management and veterans.)

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