After experiencing 'the pit,' Walmart litigation chief quits law practice at age 47
Lawyer Kerri Ruttenberg announced her retirement in a July LinkedIn post that got 46,000 impressions. She left behind a job as Walmart’s senior vice president of litigation. Photo from Shutterstock.
Lawyer Kerri Ruttenberg has said she feels like she’s “getting a second shot at life” after deciding to retire from law practice at age 47.
Ruttenberg announced her retirement in a July LinkedIn post that got 46,000 impressions. She left behind a job as Walmart’s senior vice president of litigation.
Bloomberg Law spoke with Ruttenberg about her decision. She doesn’t want to imply that she hated what she did—she said she would “do it all again”—but she is excited to embrace the freedom of retirement from law practice.
“I’ll tell you what, the adjustment is really fast,” she said.
Before joining Walmart, Ruttenberg was a partner and head of litigation for the Washington, D.C., office of Jones Day. Despite the high-paying jobs, she and her husband, Ed Gold, lived frugally, which makes the early retirement possible. Having no children and little law school debt (Ruttenberg received scholarships) also helped free up more money for savings.
Ruttenberg wants to spend more time with Gold, who is 10 years her senior. She hopes to travel, visit friends and family, pursue hobbies and possibly do some pro bono work.
She told Bloomberg Law that she decided to leave after experiencing what she called “the pit.” Bloomberg Law described that feeling as “a sense of impending doom and semi-depression” brought on by litigation opponents’ actions and constant problems that had to be addressed.
Ruttenberg understood that constant attention to problems was a key part of the job that she loved. But “the drive to keep climbing and exceeding expectations gets to be a lot when you’re doing it nonstop,” she told Bloomberg Law.
Hat tip to Above the Law.