How to Break ‘THE’ Big News About the changes in Your Law Practice? If you are considering selling or another exit from your law practice keeping it quiet is the key. Typically, no good will come from too many people knowing about you looking to exit. However, there will come the point when the deal is closed, and everyone in the office is sensing a change in your attitude (maybe it’s the smile, Hawaiian shirt, and golf shoes).
Once that time has arrived, make sure you follow these steps in announcing the practice transition.
Insiders First. Always start by sharing the news with your attorneys and other employees first. Start with the attorneys and critical individuals and then together share the information with the others. This leads to a group announcement that builds trust and provides the ‘buy-in’ factor.
Timeline Communicated. Make sure to outline a transition plan and timeline anticipated. Always provide regular updates.
Employees Can’ List. Once you bring the employees into the mix, please provide them with these three items.
- Make sure they know what they can share. Give the employees messages and FAQs on how to respond to clients or others.
- Identify a role you would like each of them to play in the transition.
- Offer a platform and method for them to ask questions and share feedback.
Breaking the big news is just the beginning. Make sure any communications with employees or others focus on the future and not the past. Selling your law firm is not the end but the beginning of more opportunities.
Share with Clients and Referral Sources. Follow a similar pattern in sharing this news with referral sources and clients. Start with a message from you as the leader that is followed by more personal communication from the referral source or client’s point person within the firm. This will help reinforce the message and convey consistency and confidence.
Personalize Communication. Phone calls are better than a mailing or email, especially with key contacts or clients. Even better, take them to lunch to address any concerns.
Focus on Client Service and Employee Care. Make sure the clients and employees know you have chosen your new practice partner after careful due diligence to make sure they are taken care of and that this new opportunity brings numerous benefits to employees and clients know the benefits, write them down and communicate them.
You Aren’t Going Anywhere. Your employees and your clients like you – Congratulations! Reassure them that you aren’t leaving and this is just part of an extended plan. You’ll still be there when they call tomorrow and you will make sure to take the time and effort to have someone always there for them, whether it is to provide employment or to help with a legal issue.