Jetting along in high-powered positions, top in-house lawyers can make the mistake of failing to prepare for the day when their landing gear drops for the last time. But what happens after that final flight? What is it like when the phone goes silent and the constant flow of emails slows to a trickle?

“It almost feels like it’s a plane that has hit the runway and the thrusters are on and you come to a complete stop on that front of your life. Everything just stops,” said Ed Ryan, who retired last year as general counsel and executive vice president of Marriott International Inc.  “When you leave a corporation, the door shuts pretty quickly behind you. Everything pretty much goes away. A lot of people are surprised by it.”

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