The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana (India) has proposed “barring
entry of a person in the profession after the age of 45.” (ExpressIndia.
2005).Judging from some of the comments submitted to the Chandigarh
News-line, lawyers in that part of the world are far less worried about
appearing politically incorrect in print than we Americans.
the old man doesn’t know
My very quick research, suggests that life
expectancy at birth in India is currently 64.4 years. A
person living to age 45 would, naturally, have a life ex-
pectancy of more than 20 years — probably significantly
more. (you can check out your life expectancy here)
the old dog
looks as if he’s listening…
We’re told that the proposed rule “has fetched a mixed response from city
advocates. While the veterans feel that the new rule defies logic and
practicality, new entrants feel the rule will be fruitful for the new crop entering
the profession.” Here are a few quotes:
Virinder Issar: I do not think that the proposed rule will do any
good to the profession. . . . An assimilation of experience and
expression is the most lethal combination one can possess in
this profession, which normally a youngster lacks, and which,
comes from passing a certain age.
N.S. Minhas: I feel its a welcome decision and should be imple-
mented. This would benefit the young generation that has entered
the profession lately. People generally have a myth regarding our
profession that older the advocate more the experience he has.
When a client walks in and sees a grey-haired advocate, he will
certainly opt for him, may be not knowing that he is as new to the
profession as is a young lawyer.
in leafy shade
an old one’s voice…
Malkiat Singh: It takes more than five years to understand the
legal procedure and settle down in this stream.
Surinder: It’s a wise step taken by the Bar Council. This will cut
down the traffic of people entering the profession.
even the pine tree
I planted grows old!
Dinesh Kumar: I wonder, at the age of 45, what will
these grey haired people do? Will they have time to devote to the
profession? I think they will be more busy with their geriatric problems.
It’s a good decision as it will motivate young lawyers to enter into the
Well, what do you think? Are you, or do you know, any gray-haired law students
or recent grads? Is this unjustified age discrimination? Guild mentality? It seems
darn unAmerican to Prof. Yabut et al.
afterthoughts (9 AM): A question and a memory: (1) how do law schools
in America treat applicants who are in their forties or older?
(2) When I first moved to Schenectady, NY, in 1988, I met lawyer Mary
Coffin. Mary didn’t go to law school until she was over 40 years old, after
having a career as a registered nurse and raising eight children. The legal
profession of Schenectady and New York State would have been far poorer
if Mary had been refused entry to the bar because of her “old” age. Decades
of service to children at Family Court, to a myriad of clients in her “Main Street”
lawyer practice of Antokol & Coffin, and to the Bar, by Lawyer Coffin, belie any
notion that she didn’t have enough time after graduation to serve the profession
and her society.
in pampas grass ensconced
a fifty year-old’s face
November 16, 2005
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