Law Practice Management

Dinsmore’s Lexington MP Sees Less 'Burning Desire' in New Lawyers

The outgoing managing partner of Dinsmore & Shohl’s Lexington, Ky., office says times have changed—and so have young lawyers entering law practice.

Joe Terry is presiding over an office that has grown to more than 40 people as a result of Dinsmore’s September merger with Louisville-based Woodard, Hopson & Fulton, Business Lexington reports. He recalls that the office had only seven people when it was created in 1997.

Since that time, Terry has seen a big change in recruiting. It’s easier now, he said, because of a glut of law school graduates and law firm layoffs.

“The market used to be that you would really have to go out and dig for talent to get the brightest and the best to stay in Kentucky and to stay with a particular law firm,” he told Business Lexington. “The pendulum has swung, and you don’t have to recruit nearly as hard, because you have people knocking your door down looking for jobs, and most of them have experience.”

But Terry has noticed a change in young lawyers. “Anymore, most of the young people you see coming into the practice of law are interested in the career as a financial means,” he told Business Lexington.

“I don’t see too many that have the burning desire to do nothing but practice law. Young people today have a more balanced lifestyle than maybe we did when I first started practicing law as a young person straight out of law school. There was that desire to get in and really dig in. And sometimes you get your priorities out of whack. But the young people today have a more balanced approach to their lifestyle.”

Terry’s successor is Chauncey Curtz, who will also continue as chair of the law firm’s mining group.

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