Law and Longevity

I have no idea how long lawyers live in comparison to other cohorts, though this study found that male Virginia lawyers live longer than the general population. So, these two stories caught my eye. First, meet 102 year old Wesley Brown:

First appointed to the federal bench by President Kennedy in 1962, U.S. District Judge Wesley E. Brown bore witness to the tumultuous civil rights era. In his lifetime, he's experienced the advent of radio, television and the Internet.

And he's still going to work in Wichita, Kan., every day, even though he took senior status in 1979.

In a profile of Judge Brown that includes video interviews, the Wichita Eagle says that the judge credits his longevity to a strong work ethic and healthy curiosity.

"I've worked all my life," Brown told the paper. "I wouldn't know what else to do."

Then, meet 90 year old Robert Morgenthau:

Robert Morgenthau may be retiring from his 35-year career as Manhattan district attorney, but that doesn’t mean he is giving up legal practice.

The 90-year-old Morgenthau is heading to the New York law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the Associated Press reported based on a firm press release (PDF). The Am Law Daily and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog noted the report. Morgenthau will be of counsel at Wachtell, the release states.

According to the Blue Zone study, longevity is associated with four attributes:

  1. Movement - not necessarily exercise, but frequent natural physical activity such as gardening and walking
  2. Good outlook - have purpose in life and keep things in perspective.
  3. Eat wisely mostly a plant based diet and smaller portions
  4. Connect - belong to a group and take care of people around you

Practicing law can giving you a purpose in life and provides the opportunity for making some amazing connections. Of course, it also requires a lot of sedentary time and can cause folks to lose perspective.

Here's a great presentation about the Blue Zone study.

D. Mark Jackson