Sidley Austin Retirement Letter
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Every so often, a resignation or retirement letter will appear in the legal industry. The majority of interesting letters usually come from associates, but every now and then, one of those letters will come from a partner. A new letter was released to the media last week from a partner retiring from a major firm and here is a tease: “I have realized that I cannot simultaneously meet the demands of career and family. Without criticizing those who have chosen lucre over progeny let me just say that I am leaving the practice of law.”

The retirement memo was submitted to everyone working in the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin on Friday, December 30.


The letter was written by David B. Johnson, who worked at Sidley Austin as a litigation partner. Johnson’s biography was removed from the firm’s website but it used to read as follows:

“DAVID B. JOHNSON is a partner in the Litigation Group of the Chicago office. He has a broad-based litigation practice with an emphasis on consumer and securities class action defense. He has also handled numerous business and commercial contract disputes regarding such issues as employer-employee relations, first refusal and preemptive rights and franchise relationships.”

In 1983, Johnson earned his J.D. degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. In 1978, Johnson earned his B.A. from Marquette University. Johnson was a member of the Illinois bar from 1983 and was admitted in the Seventh Circuit and the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

The full retirement memo from Johnson is pasted below:


I have realized that I cannot simultaneously meet the demands of career and family. Without criticizing those who have chosen lucre over progeny, let me just say that I am leaving the practice of law.

My epiphany may have come a bit late as my youngest child — I believe his name is Erik — is 24. But as I always said after missing a filing deadline, better late than never.

I have made friendships at Sidley that I will treasure well into the first quarter of 2012. But a career based on the perception of untapped potential, rather than on actual production, has a limited shelf life. I frankly would have expected management to have caught on years ago. I trust that my longevity will serve as a beacon of hope for underperforming lawyers of all ages. No need to name names: you know who you are.

Farewell and best wishes,


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Mid-level Tax Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of an AmLaw firm seeks mid-level tax associate attorney with 3-5 years of experie...

Apply Now

Real Estate/Transactional Attorney

USA-PA-Camp Hill

Camp Hill office of our client seeks real estate/transactional attorney with experience. The candida...

Apply Now

Corporate Attorney


Laramie office of our client seeks corporate attorney with 2+ years of experience.

Apply Now


Legal Assistant / Paralegal


Tavares boutique and growing law firm is looking for a full-time legal assistant / paralegal to work...

Apply now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

Andrus Anderson LLP is a plaintiffs’ firm in San Francisco looking for a full-time associate w...

Apply now

Maine Litigation Attorney


Busy New England business law firm seeks Maine Litigation Attorney based in our Portland, Maine offi...

Apply now

Maine Foreclosure Attorney Operations Manager


Bendett & McHugh is looking for a strong Foreclosure Attorney Operations Manager for our Maine Forec...

Apply now


To Top