It Takes a Lawyer to Help a Lawyer: Many Law Firms Struggling with Succession Planning

While each law firm offers its own areas of specialization, internal succession planning seems to elude many. A recent New Jersey Law Journal article highlights the challenges that many firms face in putting a comprehensive plan in place to secure a successful future when senior partners approach retirement.

In many cases, overwhelming caseloads, new business development, limited personnel and lack of time often preclude firms from thinking about their future 10 or 20 years down the line. This is particularly true for firms with only two or three associates. For these firms, the focus is on managing the current business and practicing law.

Law firms appear to face these challenges more than some other business types. This may be because lawyers have specific areas of focus and are not generally involved with leadership activities. They focus on one case or client and then the next. Succession planning is not on their radar screen.

In an effort to start the ball rolling on a comprehensive succession plan, law firms might consider taking a few simple steps such as promoting associates sooner and teaching them the ropes, taking on more employees and being more selective about the cases taken, if only temporarily. This may allow time to teach the next generation of leaders to learn to lead.

You’ve worked too hard building your firm to leave its future to chance. While you may think that you have the legal expertise to manage putting a succession in place, this process requires specialized knowledge and niche insight. After all, isn’t that what you would say to a client?

If your firm’s specialty is criminal defense or environmental law, it’s doubtful that you’ve spent a whole lot of time researching the laws associated with transfer of ownership of your business. An attorney that specializes in succession planning can guide through the process and put a clear and easily executable plan in place to ensure your firm’s survival after you’re ready to move on.

The team at Posternock Apell, PC have spent years helping businesses secure their future through comprehensive succession planning. Contact us today for a consultation so we can help you plan for tomorrow.