» Selling Your Practice

Take the Money and Run? Factors to Consider Before Accepting a Big Law Job Offer

Even casual observers of the goings-on in Big Law know the Great Resignation, as with the rest of America, has not spared the legal profession. That fact, combined with the surprising and continuing high demand for Big Law services, means that you couldn’t ask for a better job market if you are an associate seeking greener pastures. Here are a few tips when considering a Big Law job offer that seems too good to be true. ... Read More

How to Transition Clients When Succession Planning

If you’re a solo or small firm owner thinking of selling your law firm, for certain practice areas, transitioning repeat clients to the buyer is key. Indeed, the primary reason your firm has value and has a willing buyer are those client relationships that took years to build. Transitioning clients successfully requires managing and finessing human relationships, a task that—even with the best of intentions—is never easy. Everyone has the same goals, including quality, predictability, and trust. Will your successor meet your existing clients’ goals? ... Read More

So, What’s My Law Firm Worth?

It should come as no surprise that the question most prospective clients ask me is, “What is my law firm worth?” My response is always as follows: Imagine it’s Friday afternoon and you ride off into the retirement sunset never to return to the practice of law. Then, on Monday morning, the phone rings at your old desk, and your successor answers. ... Read More

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
Roy has never been shy about recommending that I raise my hourly rates. He insisted that clients would not react negatively. I listened to the advice and kept my fingers crossed. Boy, was he was right. One client remarked, “Over due. You’…" Read the rest
– Solo practitioner, Minneapolis, MN

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