I have two more days in the office before I’m retired-retired (First Army, then Arent Fox). I am a short timer. That’s an expression we used in the military for someone about to get out or be reassigned. You hear it all the time in combat areas. “I’m so short, I can’t carry on a long conversation.” “I’m so short, that when I sit down my boots no longer touch the ground.” In Vietnam, soldiers would carry around short-timer calenders and would mark off each day.
I haven’t done anything like that. The Fox has just been a great place for me. Fifty-five years of age and never had been in private practice and they took me in. Now, fourteen years later, they are going to let me retire? Is there something I’m missing? I noticed I didn’t get a gold watch. The answer to retiring at Arent Fox has to do with combining years as a partner with one’s age. Those two numbers have to total 75. So I made it not on years as a partner, but by being a gray beard.
It’s funny, all my friends who work want to know what I am going to do. Of course, none of my retired friends ever inquire. And that is what I tell my working friends. The other day, a friend of mine told me that after I retired from the Fox, I could probably get a job teaching. I told him I was sure I could, but why would I want to? I just want to play. This blogging is play for me. You never have to set an alarm clock to blog.
I spent three years phasing out of Arent Fox. The first year, I worked about 75% of the time. The second year, I worked 50% and this last year about 30% of the time. That meant that this last year I was only working two days a week. I recommend this approach to anyone who is wondering what he or she is going to do when retired. You get three workdays a week to find out. The phase-out’s main purpose is not to make me feel comfortable in retirement. That’s just a side benefit. The main purpose is to ensure that my clients don’t wake up one day and find out I’m gone. Over the three-year period, they are transitioned over to another partner who picks up on the days that I am not there. And, if all goes well, the clients remain with the Fox.
The Fox is a great law firm. There have been questions raised recently as to whether we are too friendly or enjoy ourselves too much to be an AM LAW 200 law firm. Many of the others are stoned faced and dreary. Well, we do enjoy what we’re doing, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t working hard and getting great results for our clients. Our slogan is “Smart in Your World.” We picked that up from what our clients said about us. Please excuse us if we have a good time while we are working hard and getting great results.
If sometime in the future, I become restless and start thinking about getting a job, I think I would like to be a greeter at Wal-Mart. Then again, I would probably have to learn what aisle everything is on. And, then there’s all that standing. Blogging requires no standing.