As attorneys, we are called on from time to time to advise and advocate for clients’ needs while also anticipating items they may not be thinking about on the road ahead in life or business. Many attorneys will also advise those same clients, businesses and individuals on contingency and succession planning they should consider if certain events should happen. Solid advice and the implementation handled by that attorney and other advisors on behalf of the client can work perfectly. The client gets to walk away knowing they have a great contingency plan in place and things will be alright upon disability, death, retirement and many of the other curve balls life could throw their way.

How about your plan? Have you been through the same level of planning with your team of advisors that you recommend to your clients? Have you spent the time, money and effort on your own personal contingency plan? Make sure you aren’t projecting “Do as I say, not as I do” as it applies to the succession plan for your law practice and for you personally.

Follow these next steps to get prepared for your future:

  1. Stop Procrastinating! – No seriously, stop putting it off! Set aside some time to get out of the office and start considering the ‘what-ifs’ for you as a person and how those situations will impact your practice.
  2. Schedule Those Meetings – Not with your clients, you are the client now. Reach out to your financial advisor, your own trusted attorney, your CPA and a law practice consultant or broker (like us!) to start the discussion. No idea who to start with? Anyone. Make a list. The key is to start and the pieces will begin to fall into place.
  3. Document Everything– You are an attorney after all!…So make sure you are taking notes and preparing a war chest of information, goals, ideas, disaster planning info and all those other items you or someone else would need to complete your succession plan.  It could be helpful to create an organized list of where all your important documents are stored as well.
  4. Get Informed – Talk to your advisors. Open up about what your goals are and what your personal and financial needs are so that you can lay out a plan that truly works for you.
  5. Address the Contingencies – Have you heard of a Will? Do you have one? How about one for your law practice? It’s called an assumption, buy-sell or partnership succession agreement. Some form of agreement should be in place so that your practice, your clients, your family and most of all your professional legacy is not lost by just a winding down and shuttering of the client matters.

The Law Practice Exchange aims to curb the lack of knowledge in the profession on law practice transitions by educating and advising attorneys on the number of different options available in the legal marketplace and also serving as a confidential broker and advisor to seek and provide connections for those right opportunities between an exiting attorney and a growth-focused attorney or firm.   Find out more at © 2015 The Law Practice Exchange, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.

The information and advice provided in this publication is general guidance and is not necessarily specific to your individual situation, objectives or other needs. Make sure you seek a qualified expert opinion before proceeding with your transition objectives.