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Now graying and soon going law-department veterans, with little preservation of their knowledge

The law departments of many mature, large companies may well rely on lawyers whose age averages 48 or more. At that age, retirement beckons only a few years away. According to an Accenture study in 2005 of 1,400 workers aged between 40 and 50, companies have woefully failed to memorialize their experience (Fin. Times, Jan. 25, 2006 at SR 1). “Nearly four in 10 respondents said their organizations did not have a formal process and/or tools for capturing their workplace knowledge.”

The loss of highly-valued skills and knowledge as baby-boom lawyers reach retirement age ought to worry law department managers. Those managers need to train successors, gather material that is online and searchable, post guidelines, interview the experienced, prepare outside counsel, train clients, and consider retaining them after retirement.