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Mandatory retirement policies come to fore in legal profession

For decades, Pittsburgh's largest law firm required equity partners to relinquish that status when they reached age 70.

But next month, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP partners will vote whether to abolish the stipulation.

"We anticipate (it) will be eliminated," Chairman and Global Managing Partner Peter Kalis said.

Though K&L Gates does not prohibit lawyers 70 and older from practicing, having age limits is "anachronistic and not within the mainstream of current thinking," Kalis said.

Mandatory retirement has become a major issue for the legal profession nationally, as people opt to work longer, and, not surprising for this business sector, litigation mounts.

"We're seeing more lawsuits nationally, as more senior lawyers want to continue to practice," said Lori Carpenter, president of Carpenter Legal Search, a Downtown-based recruitment firm. "Whether that affects Pittsburgh depends on the rulings coming back from large firms in bigger cities that are challenging this. Everyone's looking at what's going on."

Read More: Mandatory retirement policies come to fore in legal profession - by Patty Tascarella, Pittsburgh Business Times

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