What does succession look like? Is “succession planning” a nice way of saying it’s time to hang it up? The conversation surrounding succession planning can sometimes be overwhelming or swept under the rug altogether. Join us on November 7, 2018 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, N.C. as Lawyers Mutual Consulting and Services President, Camille Stell and Tom Lenfestey, owner of the Law Practice Exchange, host a one-of-a kind workshop on succession planning. Follow our blog for our two part interview with event hosts to find out everything you need to know about the upcoming program.
While the November 7th workshop will dive into the business implications of succession and what it all looks like; the program also focuses on the “hard stuff.” The “hard stuff” is often the mental and emotional preparation that comes along with succession planning. President of Lawyers Mutual Consulting and Services, Camille Stell, often coaches legal professionals through career transitions. We had a chance to talk to her about the upcoming program and how it mentally prepares attorneys for succession planning.
LM: We constantly hear how the mention of transitioning out of practice is like nails on a chalkboard for most lawyers. How will this program help lawyers begin to think differently about succession planning?
CS: My hope is that lawyers will begin to see this as planning for “life after law” in a positive way. Planning enables them to leave a legacy, a multi-generational law firm and to take care of their clients during transition and after they have fully retired.
LM: How important is mindset in succession planning?
CS: I believe attitude is everything. If you view retirement as the end, it may well be. Instead, I encourage lawyers to get excited about what the future holds. Designing their own succession plan allows lawyers to feel more in control about their timeline, their financials, and how to have transition conversations with attorneys, staff and clients.
LM: What are some tools lawyers will gain from this program to help them begin to design their lives after law?
CS: They will receive a valuation of their law firm and a succession plan that is unique to their law firm. They will also receive coaching in how to determine their timeline and how to have transition conversations with family, their law firm and their clients. And finally, we will spend time discussing what life after law looks like for them.
LM: What would you say is the first step for attorneys in beginning to mentally and emotionally prepare themselves for succession?
CS: Imagine what they would do away from the office. For some lawyers, it might be to take a week of vacation with no plans to see what it feels like to be away from the office with unstructured time. For others, it might be to schedule a sabbatical and explore an extended time away. Working part-time or developing a wind-down schedule is also a great way to transition out of a full-time law practice.
Check out part 1 of this blog series here.