How One Lawyer Considered His Life After Law Options

As Stratton Horres tells the story, he was approaching his 65th birthday and struggling with how to end his 41-year career in law, thirty of which were spent with his current law firm Wilson Elser in Dallas.

Stratton listed to advice from a lawyer friend who advised him not to retire until he had something to retire to. This sounded like great advice and he realized he needed a plan.

As Stratton says, “After much consideration, I realized I didn’t have to quit the law ‘cold turkey’. In fact, lawyers can retire in stages, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

Read Stratton’s Your Voice article, “A funny thing happened on the way to my retirement” in this month’s ABA Journal. Stratton describes the process he is going through to wind down some areas of his law practice (such as stepping down from firm management) while being surprised by the opportunities presented to him (such as coaching young trial lawyers in the firm).

Stratton also shares the questions he pondered as he planned his next stage of law life:

  • How much longer do you want to work?
  • Do you have any unfinished goals or projects you’d like to complete?
  • What alternate legal work matches your skills and abilities, such as alternative dispute resolution?
  • What legal topics interest you that you’d like to know more about?
  • What bar activities would you like to pursue?
  • Are there any pro bono projects that interest you?
  • Would you like to teach law students?
  • How about that book you were going to write inspired by your legal experience handling cases and closing deals?

Stratton says this process allowed him to reflect on his career and prioritize his interests moving forward. He also says rather than considering retirement as moving away from the practice of law, that the question is better framed as, “What do you want the next stage of your career to look like?”

Read Stratton’s story here: A funny thing happened on the way to my retirement (

About The Author

Camille Stell

Camille Stell is the President of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services and the co-author of Designing A Succession Plan for Your Law Practice: A Step-by-Step Guide for Preparing and Packaging Your Firm for Maximum Value. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at or 800.662.8843.

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