» Retirement/Succession

Closing Time: Best Practices When Closing a Law Practice

The most common reason why practices close is retirement. Although many lawyers would probably prefer to simply ride off into the sunset when they’ve decided to call it a career, the rules of professional conduct dictate otherwise. The duty of competent representation requires an obligation to protect client interests, which in turn, requires planning and time. Failure to properly plan one’s exit from the profession could harm the interests of clients, as well as cause financial and emotional stress to former partners and family members left to clean up the mess ... Read More

Die at Your Desk

More baby boomer solo practitioners and small law firm owners are thinking about their exit strategies. As well they should, considering the conventional wisdom that if “you die at your desk,” you leave money on the table. The reasoning behind this wisdom is simple. As a practical matter, retiring lawyers can expect to extract far more value from a practice while they are still alive. But this wisdom does not hold true for every lawyer ... Read More

Size Matters

The most common exit strategies for retiring solo practitioners and small law firm owners typically include recruiting a successor, merging with another law firm, or selling the practice. All of these options have advantages and disadvantages. However, there’s one strategy that is rarely considered, though it may make the most sense in terms of the retiring lawyer’s financial and personal well-being. That strategy is downsizing. Continue reading this post at www.myshingle.com ... Read More

Planning for the Unexpected

A frequent complaint of solo practitioners is that since they are alone and in charge, it is difficult to get away for a vacation. But somehow, most seem to manage by finding another lawyer to cover for them should there be an emergency type of situation. That’s easy to do because the vacation is planned. But what if you are taken away from your practice for something that is not planned? What if you are incapacitated or even die from an accident? Do you have another lawyer to cover for you under these circumstances? Continue reading at www.myshingle.com ... Read More

What You Need to Know in Order to Sell a Law Practice

For years, selling a law practice was prohibited because ethics regulators believed clients, files, and a firm’s good will were not something that could be sold. This prohibition did not really affect larger law firms, which would just buy out partners, i.e. the partnership would return the percentage of the equity owned by the retiring partner. Smaller law firms were able to “sell” themselves by merging with other firms. Continue reading this post on www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

How To Determine If Your Law Practice Is Worth Anything

Frequently, soon-to-be-retired solo practitioners or small law firm owners want to know if it is worth the effort to sell their practices. By far, the most significant determinant of the answer to this question is whether and for how long the practice can continue to produce revenue once the seller is gone. Are future revenues predictable? When purchasing a law practice, the buyer hopes that clients will continue to knock on the door even though the seller is no longer there. For some kinds of practices, this will not happen. Very prominent criminal defense attorneys and other well-known litigators are good examples of practices where future revenue is very unlikely. These practices are too closely linked to the reputations of the sellers.… ... Read More

Buying a Law Practice Makes Sense

As baby boomers age and start to think about retirement, these lawyers begin to think about selling their legal practices. At the same time, younger lawyers are looking for ways to expand or diversify their practices. They are also thinking about buying a law practice. Buying a law practice is a strategy that offers sellers and buyers alike significant gain with minimal risk. Don’t be a Skeptic Even though the risk is small, it is enough to scare off some potential buyers. Lawyers, after all, are blessed with ultra-cautious DNA. For many, the term “risk” is not part of their vocabulary. Perhaps the following hypothetical example will persuade skeptical buyers by demonstrating the small risk and potential high reward of a law practice… ... Read More

Buying a Law Practice

Even with the best of marketing tactics, the time needed to build a successful law practice is usually measured in years. There is one tactic that—if properly executed—can help you attain an established practice practically overnight. That tactic is buying rather than building a practice. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More
After leaving a large law firm, my own firm has now been in business for 10 years thanks to your help in getting me going on the marketing. I was recalling our early sessions when you were helping me figure out how to make my law firm run and how to…" Read the rest
– Owner, small Minneapolis, MN law firm

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