Lawyers Must Make Room for the Future

Downsizing for 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… Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

The 3 Biggest Exit Strategy Mistakes Lawyers Make

As the legal landscape evolves, so does the necessity for seasoned attorneys to devise solid exit strategies as they approach retirement. Particularly in the wake of recent global events like the COVID pandemic, the urgency of these plans has become starkly apparent. I’m an attorney with over 40 years in practice, and a seasoned consultant for attorneys. I’ve guided 200+ solo practitioners and small law firm owners across various specialties in crafting their departure strategies. This blog post explores three critical mistakes that lawyers should avoid to ensure their exit from legal practice is as smooth as possible. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

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. Here are some of the best practices when closing a law firm. ... Read More

When Should You Retire?

Knowing when to hold them and when to fold them is more than just a snappy catchphrase. It’s knowing when to move on. In poker, do you keep betting, hoping to win the pot, or do you get out of the hand and hope the next one is better? For those approaching the end of their legal career, the phrase means, do you keep plugging away working, or is it time to fold them and start playing an entirely new game called retirement? So how do you know? Here are some questions to ask yourself on when you should retire. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Boosting Revenue Before Retiring

A small law firm owner client who wants to retire in 3-4 years recently asked me, “Is it a good idea to try to grow my revenues during my last years to enhance my firm’s value when it’s time to sell a few years down the road?” Sorry, but there is no simple answer, and I will fall back on the two words lawyers love to tell their own clients: “It depends.” ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Investing for a Satisfying Retirement

When planning for retirement, most lawyers think long and hard about how best to invest their financial assets. They want to maximize their financial health. Few, however, think about how they should invest their time to maximize their physical and emotional health during retirement. The answer is to invest in their relationships with family and friends. A long-running study out of Harvard University concludes that the best predictor of longevity, health, and happiness as we age is the quality of our relationships. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

The Problem of Too Few Rural Lawyers

About 10 years ago, in “Be a Small Town Lawyer,” I wrote about the shortage of lawyers in rural America and the abundant career opportunities for attorneys willing to venture outside of metropolitan areas. What has changed since then? Not much. The shortage is very real. Here are some recent statistics.

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Categories: Attorney Retirement

Succession Planning Client Transitions – “Show Me the Money”

Boomer lawyers are retiring in record numbers. Many are the same ones with the biggest book of business. Does your firm have a strategy to transition those clients to your firm’s younger generation? And remember: hope is not a strategy. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Retirement Phases

Retirement, for most Americans, lasts about 15-20 years. Many plan for it in a very one-dimensional manner. That is, they only think about whether they will have enough money to live the life they want. Few, however, think about what they are actually going to do during those years, and how to best plan for that. ... Read More
Categories: Attorney Retirement

Have You Prioritized Your Exit Strategy Goals?

Lawyers are typically not a reflective lot. We rarely spend time taking a step back to ask, “What am I trying to accomplish here?” Instead, most lawyers just “shoot and then ask questions.” This dynamic is present at the time of retirement when determining an exit strategy. And even when the timing of the exit is carefully thought out, the exit strategy goals are often not. ... Read More