Because you are retiring, but your firm will continue, you need to do the following steps:


1. Notify our Membership Records office of your retirement date in writing.  However, their phone number is (850) 561-5832.  Retired lawyers pay no dues.  They are continued in the Bar's database (the "Find a Lawyer" feature on our website), but are clearly listed as "retired."  If you instead wish to choose Inactive status, there are reduced dues for that distinction.  Many retiring lawyers actually choose inactive status because they may wish to change their status in the future back to active status in order to handle a few cases from time to time as Of Counsel to their law firm. 

 

2. The client notification letter should be sent to all the firm's active clients whose matters you worked on, not only to let them know about your retirement, but also to tell them who will be taking over their legal matters.  The letter should remind clients that while the firm wishes to continue the relationship the client must choose whom they wish to represent them.  Consequently, there may be several letters you would draft.  That is, some clients the firm may not want to (or can't) continue to work with, while others the firm wishes to continue with (and is able).  Insofar as the clients hired the firm and not any one particular lawyer, whether to notify clients whose matters are closed is at the discretion of the firm -- whatever makes sense for the firm and the former client.  

 

A sample letter is on the PRI web page under the Management tab, near the bottom under the topic: Lawyers Retiring, Closing Office, Changing Firms, entitled: Unilateral Letter to Client from a Departing Attorney. You may download this form and tailor it to your specific concerns.

 

3. The PRI Checklist For Lawyer Retirement, Law Office Closure, Or Law Firm Dissolution is located on our website.  It addresses retirement, closing an office or law firm that has more items to consider that are mostly internal to the law firm or the retiring lawyer's status.  Many will not apply to your situation, but please take a moment to review the checklist just in case. 

 

There are also several books and resources to help you with retirement planning.  


I recommend the following publications, the first two of which can be found on Amazon.com:


· Law Firm Partnerships by Leslie D. Corwin and Arthur J. Ciampi, from the Law Journal Seminars Press – Business Law Series. The book is a bit pricey, but it can usually be found in a law school library.

 

· A less expensive alternative is Law Partnership: Its Rights and Responsibilities.

 

· The Of Counsel Agreement, 4th Edition; an ABA bookstore offering has many employment forms on the CD included with the book.


· CLE Courses:  “Considerations In Retirement and Succession Planning for Lawyers and Law Firms” which is available for free viewing on You Tube.  Recently at The Florida Bar's Winter Meeting in Orlando, a highly informative CLE course was held by the Senior Lawyers Committee entitled, "Are You Sprinting Toward a Brick Wall?: Considerations In Retirement and Succession Planning for Lawyers and Law Firms." This seminar has been approved for continuing legal education credit in the following area(s): 3 Elder and .5 Ethics.

 

· Trugman on Valuation is a good resource for determining law firm valuation. www.trugmanvaluation.com


The PRI Administrative Forms Handbook ONLINE. is another resource.  This web page contains several sample forms, including Client Communications Forms and Letters, for your consideration.