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Closing versus Selling a Law Practice: Why Not Get Money for Your Efforts?

Are you a solo lawyer or small-firm owner facing retirement? Then, like most Boomer lawyers out there, you’re contemplating the option of selling your law practice. ... Read More

Should a Solo Join a Bigger Law Firm? Is Bigger Better?

It’s common for the successful solo practitioner to have bigger law firms approach them for recruiting the practitioner and joining forces. It’s also common for those practitioners to seriously consider the offer, often thinking the grass may be greener. But what makes these offers so tempting? There are many reasons, some of which are sensible, but most of which are not. ... Read More

So, You Want to Be a Managing Partner? Make Sure You Embody These Qualities First.

Whenever someone I know becomes a firm’s managing partner, I always express my congratulations and condolences. Yes, it certainly is a feather in one’s cap to be the Big Cheese at a law firm. But, let’s be frank; it’s a tough job. Ask any managing partner and they’ll often tell you that practicing law is far easier than managing a law firm. ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

How to Approach Difficult Conversations About Succession Planning

Talking about a firm’s future is hard enough. Build onto that the need to plan for a future that doesn’t include a senior attorney… Talk about awkward! There is also fear on the part of younger lawyers. It can often feel confrontational to approach senior lawyers and ask about their future plans. ... Read More

Solos and Small Firm Owners: Don’t Delay Your Succession Planning

Succession is perhaps the most significant long-term challenge facing soon-to-be-retired, baby-boomer solo practitioners and small law firm owners. This is understandable, as a variety of psychological and emotional factors stack the odds against you laying the foundation for a smooth transition. ... Read More

How to Know If & When the Time Is Right to Switch or Tweak Practice Areas

After several years (or perhaps decades!) of practicing in a specific area, it’s no wonder you are considering change. What is prompting your desire for change, though? Boredom? Market changes? A desire to get out completely? Or an internal drive to simply spice things up a bit? ... Read More

What Lawyers Can Learn From Apple When Setting Billing Rates

Last month, Apple unveiled its new iPhone X to much fanfare. Perhaps what created the most fanfare was its price. It starts at $999; hundreds more than the older iPhone 7 and the brand-new iPhone 8. ... Read More

Succession Planning Scenarios for Solos & Small Law Firm Owners

For solo practitioners and small law firm owners seeking retirement, here is a quick, down-and-dirty summary of the succession plan strategies available to you. Put another way, here are three structural ways that soon-to-be retired lawyers can “sell” their practices. ... Read More

How to Retain Clients When a Lawyer Retires: Plan for the Skill Gap

A critical component of a law firm’s succession plan is to figure out how to retain the firm’s best clients when senior lawyers retire. Most law firms quickly jump to determine who in the firm is either ready to step up or ready to undertake proper mentoring and training to step up in the future. Before making this determination, however, it is important to ask several questions. ... Read More

The ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ Marketing Plan

If you’ve searched the web for marketing plans, you’ve likely noticed that most so-called legal marketing experts recommend putting together a formal marketing plan. I suppose I fall into that camp — having a marketing plan is a necessity. But I am a contrarian in one key respect. ... Read More

Preparing Your Practice for Sale? Don’t Do Stupid S**t.

Soon-to-be retired solo practitioners and small law firm owners who are thinking of selling their law firms frequently ask, “Is there anything special or unique that I should do now to maximize my practice’s value?” Whenever I hear that question, I can’t help but think of President Obama’s remark about how to best manage world affairs: “Don’t do stupid s**t.” That advice holds true for lawyers contemplating selling their practice. ... Read More

10 Questions to Answer When Creating Your Law Firm Strategic Marketing Plan

When putting together your law firm’s marketing plan as part of your business development and strategic planning efforts, don’t fall into the trap of simply doing what you did last year. Sure, that may be enough to keep the lights on for another year. But, don’t you want to achieve more for your firm? ... Read More

Want to Avoid Ethics Complaints? Follow These Three Service Tenets for Satisfied Clients

Unhappy clients often choose to file ethics complaints against their poor-performing lawyers. What leads to their unhappiness? It may come as a surprise, but most ethics complaints are not about incompetence. Instead, most complaints revolve around basic customer service expectations. They involve issues that, even without specific ethics rules in place, would make any reasonable person agree the lawyer should be disciplined. ... Read More

Succession Planning: Don’t Delay Identifying New Leaders

I recently attended a CLE with approximately 25 other people. Two individuals introduced themselves as managing partners of their small law firms. Both were in their 60s and both indicated their firms had not yet identified logical successor candidates to lead when they retire. The situation these partners find themselves in is not unusual. ... Read More

Appraising a Law Firm for a Buy-In: CPA’s Need Not Apply

You own a small law firm. For the first time, you want to make one of your associates a partial owner. But how do you determine the price of admission for the “buy-in?” ... Read More

Revenue v. Profits: Don’t Forget the Bottom Line

This lawyer fell into the trap that all-sized firms frequently do. They mistakenly believe the holy grail finance metric to be revenue. But if you ask anyone working in corporate America what the key finance metric is, you will hear one thing only: profitability. ... Read More

Email Networking Invitations: What Should You Say?

Have you set your New Year’s resolutions for business yet? If yes, I hope that improved networking is on your list. And if no, make 2017 the year that you finally “up” your networking game. ... Read More

A Rule of Thumb for Valuing a Law Practice Is Not to Use the Rule of Thumb

Solo practitioners and small law firm owners wanting to know what their practices are worth frequently rely on the “rule of thumb” valuation method. ... Read More

Should Your Career Expire When Your Lease Does?

Clients often ask me, “Roy, what’s the biggest mistake solo practitioners and small firm owners make when considering their retirement/succession strategies?” My answer? Attorneys permit their office situation, specifically a lease obligation, to muck things up. Continue reading this post at www.attorneyatlaw.com. ... Read More

Lawyers Must Make Room for the Future

Retirement often goes hand in hand with downsizing your living quarters, whether that means relocating to a warmer climate retirement community or buying the downtown condo in your present area. In either case, most senior attorneys are faced with the issue of finding a place for all of their “stuff.” It can be difficult to throw away items that represent so many sentiments from the past even when you know there is no room for it where you’re going. Welcome to the quandary of downsizing.  To begin, we’ll go over some of the conventional wisdom. Then I’ll throw in my own two cents based on recent personal experience.  (While I’m not quite ready to retire, I did recently downsize since my children are now all launched… ... Read More
For me, the reality testing with Roy was very helpful.  Being able to review with him whether what I was feeling or perceiving was probable (or even possible) in the context of a law firm practice helped me significantly. I also greatly appreciated…" Read the rest
– Associate, mid-sized ND law firm

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