Is it Time to Retire?

For most lawyers, the decision when to retire is rarely black and white. Instead, the choice comes with lots of gray (that goes along with your gray hair!). To help you find the right time, think about these questions: Do you still have the fire in your belly? Are you still excited about going into the office, or do you dread the thought? Have you been on the receiving end of subtle or not-so-subtle suggestions from family, friends or colleagues that perhaps it’s time to slow down? How do you feel physically? Is your mental edge still there? How often do you have “senior moments?” How healthy are your parents? Will you need to help them through their own sunset years? How is your spouse’s or significant other’s health? What are h… Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

The Flaws of the "Recruit Your Successor" Exit Strategy

One retirement exit strategy often considered by solo practitioners is the “recruit your successor” one. The idea behind this strategy is to find a young, inexperienced lawyer who is then groomed to take over the practice. During the initial stage of the transition (usually one or two years), the seller and buyer get to know one another. If the fit seems good, the parties then negotiate a “buy out” going forward (usually another one to three years). Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

A Better Way to Value a Law Practice

“So, what’s my law practice worth, Roy?” If only I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question… No one really liked my old answer to that question: “Whatever someone is willing to pay you.” So instead I turned to posing a hypothetical. Will the Phone Keep Ringing? When a client asks me what their practice is worth, I pose the following: Imagine it is Friday afternoon. You’ve been running a successful law practice, but are now ready to ride off into the retirement sunset at the close of business that day. When Monday morning rolls around, will your existing clients or potential new clients call you and be willing to work with your replacement? ... 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

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
Categories: Attorney Retirement

How to Avoid Practicing Law After Selling Your Practice

If you decide to exit the legal profession, you should explore the option of selling your practice. Most states have adopted a version of Model Rule 1.17, which requires you to jump through some hoops before you can sell. Continue reading this post on www.lawyerist.com 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. Continue reading this post at www.myshingle.com Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

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. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com 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 initially hired Roy to assess buying a practice. I enjoyed his “wake-up call” advice which was real, pragmatic, affordable, and beneficial. In fact, absent Roy’s advice, I would have spent a quarter million dollars in excess of what a…" Read more
– Solo practitioner, Irvine, CA

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