Asked and AnsweredBy John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMCQ. I am a solo practitioner located in the Chicago suburbs. I have one staff member. I am 53 and have been practicing law for over 25 years. I try to limit my practice to estate planning and estate administration. However, I do have to take on other general practice type matters to stay busy. Practicing law by myself is beginning to take its toll on me - it gets lonely practicing alone, coverage and backup for clients is difficult, and I have the full burden of the worry 24/7. What do I do with the practice when I get older and reach retirement age? I have not taken a vacation in years. I have been thinking about the pros and cons of joining another firm? What are your thoughts?A. One option would be to grow your practice internally. You could add a younger associate attorney. However, it sounds like you currently don't have the business that would support the position. Then you would have to train the mentor the assoicate and pray that once they become productive - two or three years down the road that they stay with you and don't leave for greener pastures.Another option would be to bring in a more senior lateral attorney with experience and a book of business.A third option would be to look around for another solo or small firm that is looking for someone to carry the firm into the next generation as a part of their succession strategy.