"Fix the roof while the sun is shining."

Those exact words were never spoken by a participant at the debut of our new program, Passing the Torch...While It's Still Got Heat: How to Start Leveraging Your Legal Experience Now for Maximum Value in the Days to Come, but that idea was weaved through much of the conversation during the three hour program at CLEBC in Vancouver, BC. The focus of the program was on succession planning. At one point a participant raised his hand and asked a more general question about retirement. We discussed that it is crucial to make life decisions when you have control and options. I asked participants why that doesn't happen. The obstacles shared included identity questions (“Who will I be if not a lawyer?” “Where is my meaning going to come from?”), financial concerns, not having time to plan for retirement while running a practice, and time being on our side (“My business and I are doing great so what’s the rush?”). We discussed an exercise that may help to short circuit procrastination and get the process started. Let us know what you think. 

  • Open a document or take out a piece of paper.
  • Begin a list of all the things that you might (we’re just brainstorming here!) do after retirement (i.e. a travel destination, consulting company idea, teaching a class)
  • Update the list as needed. Organize by the nature of the activity.
  • Share with others. Makes it more real and you get feedback.
  • Try them out. Try a shorter version of the big trip, take a class.
  • Keep adding. If you complete something add another item.
  • Enjoy the process. You aren’t committing to anything yet.
Thanks to the Law Practice Exchange in Cary, NC for much of the information below.