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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of March 28, 2017

Buying vs. Selling a Law Practice: Traditional Characteristics

In general, a selling attorney wakes up one morning and says to himself, "I'm done." For a variety of reasons, there is little planning unlike in other industries and professions. And there is an impatience about concluding a transaction. Having made the decision to sell or leave the profession, the seller wants it done... now. Time is more compressed if an illness is involved.

A buying attorney tends to be younger than the seller and usually wants to grow either in current depth of practice area or in number of practice areas in order to better meet the needs of existing clients. Or, there is an opportunity that just "falls in the lap" of the buyer.

The sale/purchase price tends to be lower than otherwise would be the case because of the lack of history in the legal profession. The interest of the buyer and seller are opposite in this area. If I represent the seller, I insist on good collateral or full cash payment. This is where the issues usually get stuck and one or the other has to "give" in the conversation.

Here are the traditional characteristic of buyers and sellers:


  1. You're experienced, but still young and energetic.
  2. You want to build an "empire."
  3. You want to spend more time on the business rather than the law.
  4. You need to expand current client offerings to meet client needs.


  1. You want to monetize your practice.
  2. The law is more complex than ever.
  3. You want to spend more time with grandchildren or family.
  4. You want to spend more time on the law and less time on the business.

What would you, the reader of this, add to the list?



Buying vs. Selling a Law Practice: Traditional Characteristics

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LawBiz® Registry: Buy or Sell Your Practice

Ed Poll on YouTube

Buy or Sell Your Practice 

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