July 21, 2019

Is There a Better Exit Strategy Than Death?—Part II

Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the September 2014 issue of The Colorado Lawyer. This is the first part of a 5-part series on Legal Connection. 

SandgrundBy Ronald M. Sandgrund, Esq., InQ.

Introduction to Part II of the Dialogue

This two-part article discusses an issue nearly all lawyers must confront during their careers: developing and deploying an exit strategy. This can mean exiting one area of practice for another; transitioning from the law to a different endeavor; accommodating the demands of raising a family; and slowing down or retiring near the end of one’s career. The article explores the issue through the eyes of two groups of lawyers: the first group transitioned from the day-to-day practice of law to a different job; the second group sought to reduce their hours on the road to retirement. The story of every lawyer I spoke to is different, but the moral of those stories is the same: there are better exit strategies than death.

Is There a Better Exit Strategy Than Death?—Part II

As the Eagles sing in “Already Gone”: “So often in time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key,”[1] and in “Lyin’ Eyes,” that “[e]very form of refuge has its price.”[2] Even so, they implore in “Desperado” that while “[i]t may be raining . . . there’s a rainbow above you.”[3] In sum, there is a key to that door marked “Exit,” and behind that door may be something quite fabulous.

None of the lawyers I interviewed found a foolproof recipe for exiting the full-time practice of law. For each, it was dynamic process, learning as they went along. It seems that the keys to their succeeding were: (1) recognizing that a change was necessary to stay or become content; (2) visualizing their world after they had made such a change; (3) creating and implementing a plan to effect this change; and (4) communicating clearly to those around them their desire for change.

[1] From “Already Gone,” by the Eagles, words by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund (1974). Having grown up in the 1970s and 1980s, I am most familiar with the Eagles’ lyrics, but every generation’s music seems to repeat their themes.

[2] From “Lyin’ Eyes,” by the Eagles, words by Don Henley and Glenn Frey (1975).

[3] From “Desperado,” by the Eagles, words by Don Henley and Glenn Frey (1973).

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