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.) What the exp… Read More
Categories: Uncategorized

How to Be Successful at Succession Planning

Mark Twain is said to have remarked, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” That quote came to mind when I heard about a new book by veteran law firm consultant John W. Olmstead, “The Lawyer’s Guide to Succession Planning: A Project Management Approach for Successful Law Firm Transitions and Exits.” The fact that such a book has been published indicates the legal profession is talking more about succession planning. Yet are today’s lawyers and firms actually doing anything about succession? Facts Don’t Lie In 1980, only a quarter of the legal profession was older than 55. Today, well over a third of lawyers are. That means that more than a third of those practicing today will likely not be prac… Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

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 hi… 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

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

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My partner and I hired Roy to provide ideas about how to best transition our interests in our litigation firm to my other partner. He was genuinely interested in helping us define and resolve our issues. Roy thoroughly understood each of our characte…" Read more
– Small law firm owner, Bismarck, ND

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