It now seems so anachronistic — if not incredible — but when I started practice in Hartford, Conn., in 1970, an unwritten, but most effective, hiring policy was uniformly followed by law firms in that city and in other parts of the state.

More particularly, if a lawyer — associate or partner — left his firm, he could not and would not be hired by another Hartford firm. He would have to seek employment in New London County or perhaps down in Stamford, where distance might diminish his disloyalty. It was as simple as all that.

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