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Selling A Law Firm – What Does ‘Selling’ Really Mean?

Types of Sales:

Selling a law practice includes both an internal sale of ownership to a partner or non-equity attorney(s) through a succession plan process and an external sale through a transition-based acquisition by an outside attorney or law firm. These can be broken down into two typical paths:

•Marketplace selling of law firms

•Internal sales and succession planning

Law Firm Sale IS Different

Selling a law practice is a very different process than other business sales. Most law practices, especially the solo practitioners and small partnerships tend to be very dependent on the owner-attorneys for not just management, but also for production of revenues through the legal knowledge and client relationships they personally maintain.

When you go to sell a law practice it is a confidential planning process to determine the value of your law practice, marketing approach, transaction structure, buyer criteria and other key elements, but it also involves working through how you as the owner-attorney can transition clients, management and legal work to the buying attorney or firm. Any sale will have a transition plan, the timeline however will greatly depend on your goals and the practice’s needs.

Not Done....

Selling your law firm doesn’t mean you are done practicing law. Given that most all sales, both internal succession-based plans and external sales require some form and length of time for your attorney transition to help ensure the transition of clients, knowledge and other aspects plan on practicing law for a while after a sale is complete. Better yet, if you just want to transfer ownership, but keep practicing for additional years beyond the transition plan most all buyers would welcome you as a continued practicing attorney under a better, more flexible practice schedule.

Now Is The Time To Start.

Preparing to sell your law firm or succession planning is much like getting a will for your law practice and tends to take on the same urgency as thoughts and words like ‘I’ll get that started after the 1st of the year’ or ‘I really need to make some progress on that…after I get caught up with all these client files.” Given that timelines for each practice sale vary greatly now is the time to explore which path is right for you and begin the process. You always control the timeline on your personal goals once started, but the key is to allow yourself enough time to be able to accomplish your exit goals. That’s why we are here. Contact The Mutual Growth and we can help make sure these thoughts and good intentions actually turn into a plan that is implemented.

MG Brokers will help you to understand:

•What’s the difference between an internal sale and external?

•How do I know which is right for me?

•What does selling a law practice really mean?

Selling a law practice is not a handover of the keys and walking away. That may be a good thing or bad thing, but the truth is in order to preserve value built, continue quality legal services to clients and the community and make it all come together a solid transition plan post-closing is needed. That transition timeline varies based on your goals and needs as well as those of your practice, your successor(s), your clients and a number of others, but a transition plan is truly the key to success.

MG Brokers: 631.913,8186

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