Work/Life Balance

Lawyer, 65, opens own solo firm, says 'I should have done it 25 years ago, but couldn't'

Corrected: A former dairy farm manager, Mark Breneman always wanted to be a lawyer. For decades, working as a financial planner seemed as close as he could get to his lifelong goal.

But in his 50s, he found a way to begin attending classes part-time at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., putting 50,000 miles on his BMW despite frequently carpooling there from his home in Byron before he graduated in 2007. Now, at age 65, after practicing law for five years with a firm in Rochester, he is hanging his own shingle in his hometown, a Community News Corporation article reports. A paralegal will be the only other worker there, at least initially.

“I should have done it 25 years ago, but couldn’t,” he said when asked by the newspaper if he regretted his decision to go to law school, adding: “I always wanted to be a lawyer, and then life got in the way.”

Updated Aug. 7 to add correction from underlying coverage that Breneman worked as a financial planner.

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