What Would Happen to Your Practice If You Weren’t There?

A Succession Plan will protect you.

What would happen to your law practice if suddenly you weren’t around to run it anymore?

Would your clients be taken care of? Would your employees get paid? Would the lights stay on?

What if you or your partner died, or became disabled, or were disbarred? Or a key employee decided to quit without notice?

These and similar events could spell disaster for you, your family, and your law practice.

A Succession Plan would provide a blueprint for the continuation of your practice regardless of what happens. It would direct how your practice would be transferred seamlessly to your associates, a designated successor, or an outside purchaser. And it would ensure that your professional legacy won’t come to an end when you retire, but that it will live on through successors you’ve personally chosen.

You might think a Succession Plan is just for lawyers who are getting ready to retire. Wrong. It’s for any lawyer who wants peace of mind, certainty, and financial protection.

Are you and your law practice prepared for whatever life may throw at you?

Take the following Succession Readiness Test (from the book Designing a Succession Plan for your Law Practice and reprinted with permission of the author) and find out.

Succession Planning is key to your law firm’s future. Having a succession plan doesn’t mean you’re ready to retire or need to stop work today. It means having a blueprint for your future and a process for transitioning ownership smoothly, seamlessly and profitably. Learn more about succession planning – and how you can design a plan that’s right for your practice – by attending our upcoming live webinar, Success in Succession Planning. Our guest speaker is Camille Stell, CEO and founder of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services, who (literally) wrote the book on Designing a Succession Plan for Your Law Practice. One hour of CLE credit has been applied for and is expected to be approved. Register here.

Succession Readiness Test

  1. Do you have a business plan?
  2. Can you clearly state your personal and professional goals?
  3. Do you understand how transition and succession work?
  4. Have you identified the best transition option for you?
  5. Do you know the value of your practice?
  6. Can you identify the key factors driving that value?
  7. Do you know how to find the right buyer, partner or successor for your practice?
  8. Do you know how to fulfill your ethical obligations to your clients in the event of a sale, succession or transfer?
  9. Do you know how to make sure your clients and staff will continue to be taken care of after your exit?
  10. Do you know the first step to selling your law practice?
  11. Should you retain a law firm brokerage or sales company?
  12. Do you know when and how you plan to retire?
  13. Do you know what will happen to your practice if you retire or cut back on your hours?
  14. Is it important that you maximize the value from your practice for retirement?
  15. Can you keep pace with the competition today – and do you even want to keep trying?
  16. Do you have a clear vision of your life after law?
  17. Are there things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time?
  18. Do you know what would happen if you or a key partner were suddenly unable to continue working?
  19. Do you know how much a Succession Plan costs?
  20. Do you know when you should start preparing a Succession Plan?

Scoring Key: Every Yes answer indicates a topic where you already have a knowledge base. The book Designing a Succession Plan for Your Law Practice – and attending our Success in Succession Planning webinar – will strengthen that base. Every No answer indicates a topic where you can use some help. The book and webinar will also provide that.

Get a copy of Designing a Succession Plan for Your Law Practice.

If you practice in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana or Michigan, you can stay on top of ethics and risk management news by being a member of Alta Pro Lawyers RPG. You’ll get access to free webinars, the Pro Practice Playbook, Reminger ProLink, Ask the Risk Pro and more. Here’s how to join.

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