» Selling Your Practice

Buying a Firm That’s Dependent on Marketing & Advertising Dollars

When purchasing a law practice, buyers seek revenue they ordinarily could not obtain on their own. For example, buyers hope that, with the proper introductions, the relationships that a seller has with repeat clients can be successfully transitioned to the buyer. The same can be said for a seller’s referral network, be they former clients or other professionals. ... Read More

Strategic Planning Information Sources

A basic premise of strategic planning is to gather information to know who you are as a law firm. After all, if you don’t know who you are, how do you know where you want to go and whether you can realistically get there? What’s most important during the strategic planning process is gaining an understanding of the firm from the inside and the outside. Firm culture addresses the former; reputation addresses the latter. ... Read More

Pricing a Law Firm When Selling to an Insider

I always tell clients that my appraisal provides an excellent starting point for negotiating the price of a law firm with an insider, but that it is unlikely that it will be the final word. While it may sound like a cliché, for most small firm insider deals, parties ultimately agree on a price that seems “fair.” ... Read More

Appraising a Law Practice in Different Settings

Law practices are often valued in divorce proceedings. As such, lawyers frequently assume that it should be relatively easy to apply similar valuation principles when trying to sell a practice. Nothing can be further from the truth.

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Buying a Law Practice: Not as Risky or Complicated as You Think

Purchasing another lawyer’s practice is fast becoming a popular and more common way to grow or diversify one’s law firm. There are three main reasons for this: ... Read More

Paying a Premium for a “System”

Appraising a law firm requires assessing numerous factors. During the appraisal process, some attorneys will say to me something along the lines of, “In my law firm, I’ve got this great system that can…. That alone should be worth…” The marketplace for law firms doesn’t work like that, however. Here’s why. ... Read More

Assessing a Law Firm’s Revenue: All Is Not Created Equally

One of my truisms for valuing a law practice is that “all revenue is not created equally.” For example, revenue that stems from past clients or one’s referral network is far more valuable than the revenue generated from seminars or webinars. ... Read More

What Can Law Firm Sellers Ethically Do During a Transition?

Rule 1.17 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct states that after a sale, sellers must “cease to engage in the private practice of law.” Does that mean you must hand over the keys, walk out the door, and immediately ride off into retirement sunset? And if the answer is yes, how is that realistically possible? ... Read More

Finding Buyers for Your Law Practice

There are a variety of ways to find buyers. Some attorneys try to do it on their own. From a DIY perspective, usually the best ways to get the word out that you’re looking for a buyer are through networking and advertising. Others who don’t want to take the time and effort to find buyers on their own rely on consultants and brokers. Besides saving time, using outside experts provides other advantages from the DIY method. They include: ... Read More

Including Office Space as Part of a Law Firm Sale?

Small-firm owners and solo practitioners looking to sell their law firms frequently believe that their particular office space—whether owned or leased—significantly enhances the value of their practice. They usually base this belief on the office’s superior location or their upscale furnishings and design. ... Read More

What Happens to Your Website if You Sell Your Practice?

If your firm is like many solo and small law firms, a significant portion of your firm’s value derives from the amount of business your website generates. When selling a law firm—be it an actual sale or a transition to another firm as “of counsel”—it is therefore critical that the buying firm retains the benefit of the seller’s previous website traffic. ... Read More

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
I hired Roy to help me decide if or when to leave my present firm and start my own. He provided a great sounding board and offered very helpful guidance as I planned my move. At first, the thought of starting my own firm was overwhelming, but Roy gav…" Read the rest
– Solo practitioner, Southwest VA

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