Tag Archive: Buying and Selling a Practice

Succession — By the numbers

I’ve written extensively about lawyers planning for the succession of their practice, whether by merger, sale, or simply retiring by just walking away one day, closing their door forever more.

Some failed to plan well or spent their working lives increasing their standard of living to meet their compensation level — and not saving; others suffered financial losses in the economic downturn; and still others have lived beyond what they expected with their savings depleted by normal bills or chronic illness.

But, what are the numbers? I haven’t seen hard and fast numbers for the legal profession … but here are some numbers for our country … which I believe shed some light on the legal community.

The unemployment rate for Americans older than 75 years is twice what it was only five years ago. The rate might be higher if older folks were not embarrassed to say they are looking for work.There has been a 25% jump in the number of older people in the work force in the last 5 years. By 2018, the government projects that 10% of people over 75 years of age will be working or seeking work. Average net worth of households with at least one person over 70 years of age went down by 27% between 2007 and 2009. In 1981, social security paid 52% of the average worker’s pre-retirement earnings; in 2001, the percentage was 39% and expected to decline further.


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Work ON your business

A thought from Alan Weiss, consultant:  “If Hollywood’s collective genius can create a $100 million film which flops at the box office, I don’t see reason to exactly beat yourself up if you choose a lousy vacation spot, cook a poor meal, or scratch the side of the car. Stuff happens. Get on with your life, and don’t let a momentary poor judgment create a lifelong depression.”

And in your law practice, the fact that you haven’t paid sufficient attention to “The Business of Law”® doesn’t’ mean you shouldn’t/can’t start now. Today is Labor Day, hopefully a day of rest for you … start tomorrow to work “on your business,” not just “in your business.”  And build something of value (otherwise known as goodwill) that can be passed on to your family, your estate, when you’re ready to retire. You don’t have to just close the doors and walk away.


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