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With hordes of attorneys poised to assume senior status, achieving a consensus among partners to ditch mandatory retirement policies is just the first step — and perhaps the easiest — in switching to what many say is a fairer system.

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis recently did it, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman made the change, and others are expected to follow. And while these firms report that reaching the decision to abandon age-based retirement was relatively painless, implementing a merit-based system for evaluating older attorneys will not be a simple feat for most.

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