Retiring, Selling or Leaving a Law Firm - Practice Resource Center



Selling a Practice

  • Ed Finkel
    Illinois Bar Journal, September 2016

    The market for law firms is still maturing several years after transferring a practice became legal in Illinois. A recent buyer discusses the legal, financial, and ethical considerations.

  • Phillip E. Koenig
    The Bottom Line, September 2015

    Some suggestions for lawyers as they consider updating their own estate plans.

  • Maria Kantzavelos
    Illinois Bar Journal, October 2012

    How much is your practice worth? How can you maximize its value? How do you find buyers? Even if you aren't ready to sell, experts say the time to ask yourself these questions is now.

  • Donald E. Weihl
    The Bottom Line, September 2012

    Selling a practice requires planning that begins long before the actual sale transaction is to take place. Here's a look at some of the usual steps to be taken in the sale process.

  • John W. Damisch
    Senior Lawyers, June 2011

    A few reasons you should consider keeping your practice.

  • Helen W. Gunnarsson
    Illinois Bar Journal, January 2011

    The 2010 update of Illinois' ethics rules make it easier to sell a law practice. But what about practical issues like valuation and transition planning? Seasoned solos offer advice.

  • John W. Olmstead
    The Bottom Line, December 2010

    How much is your firm worth?

  • John T. Phipps
    General Practice, Solo & Small Firm, January 2003

    We have received a number of excellent comments and suggestions about the proposed transfer of a solo practice and made changes to the original proposed draft rules.

  • Bernard Wysocki
    General Practice, Solo & Small Firm, January 2002

    Probably, the most important project that the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section Council has been working on this year, is the work on the proposal for changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct allowing the sale of a law firm by sole practitioners.

Leaving a Practice

  • Timothy J. Howard
    Senior Lawyers, October 2016

    If you were considering leaving the full-time practice of law, what are your options in registering with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC)? There are four different alternative statuses described in the Illinois Supreme Court Rules. They are “inactive status,” “disability inactive status,” “retirement status” and “permanent retirement status.” The place to begin understanding the differences is Supreme Court Rule 756, which is titled “Registration and Fees.”

  • Leonard F. Amari
    Senior Lawyers, February 2016
    Is there an actual, understandable definition of 'of counsel'? If so, what is it?
  • Sarah Moravia
    General Practice, Solo & Small Firm, April 2015

    Why are so many lawyers unhappy with the profession? What is driving everyone away? And what can be done to minimize this trend?

  • Shital A. Patel
    The Catalyst, April 2011

    Some practical advice to consider when changing practice areas.

  • John Cesario
    Illinois Bar Journal, January 2011

    Succession planning might just be part of your ethical duty of diligence.

  • Helen W. Gunnarsson
    Illinois Bar Journal, June 2003

    If you're leaving your law firm and hope to take business with you, consider these ethical and legal issues.

  • Karen J. Dilibert
    Illinois Bar Journal, June 2001

    Before you jump on the train, Jane, read about how tricky it can be to say farewell to your old firm and start or join a new one.

ISBA Advisory Opinions on Professional Conduct

  • 07-02 Selling a law practice
  • 03-06 Retaining responsibility for matter after leaving law firm
  • 01-02, 94-14 Closing law firm and client files
  • 95-02, 86-16 Access to files at former firm
  • 92-12 Attorney inability to practice due to senility

Other Resources

Have a suggestion for a practice resource? Please email Mark Mathewson.

These resources are presented as educational resources for for ISBA members. They should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual legal research, and the ISBA does not warrant the accuracy of the information that appears in them.