I am a lawyer from Carbondale, Illinois area. Last week I attended you Illinois State Bar Association CLE Webinar - Law Practice Succession and Transition - Ideas for Getting Started. I am 66 years old and I fit the "Sole Owner" model that you discussed. I am the practice. I have one associate and one legal assistant and my associate has neither the desire or the ability to take over my practice. I am tired and want to retire by the end of the year. With no successors in site I am thinking that I should just close the doors at the end of the year. I welcome your thoughts.
It could come to that if you cannot find someone interested in taking over your practice. However, since you have almost a year before your planned retirement I would at least try to see if you can find another lawyer or law firm to buy or otherwise takeover your practice - preferable "buy". Start now as it often takes a year. Make a short list, make some phone calls, have some lunches, get to know some folks, and see what kind of interest there might me. Keep a continual momentum going. Since you are the practice - this will be a concern to a potential buyer especially if you are unwilling to stay on after the sale in a consultative transition capacity. You might want to rethink your timeline - otherwise you may have to simply close the doors and refer out the work and strike the best arrangement that you can.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC