Frank had spent his career in the practice of law. An attorney with a legal firm, and now in his early sixties, he was beginning to think about how he could begin to wind down his work at the firm. He wasn’t ready to stop practicing but he also didn’t want the demands that came with being a partner in the firm.
Frank had worked long and hard to get to this point in his career and he was struggling with the idea of letting go entirely. He wasn’t ready. He believed he still had a lot to contribute but something would need to change.
Working with his coach affirmed what he enjoyed most about his work which was his long-established relationships with clients and helping them solve their problems. It’s what he would miss most. What he didn’t enjoy was the demands of the job including the pressure he felt to continue to bring in new clients. He had risen in the firm but never really enjoyed the business development side of the job.
What Frank wanted was more time.
What Frank wanted most was more time. More time outside of work, where he could engage in other activities that he also enjoyed and interested him more.
As is common in professional services firms, Frank could announce his retirement and begin to transition his clients to other attorneys in the firm. But this wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. As he thought about transitioning those client relationships, Frank began to think about how he could best support his clients and the younger attorneys in that transition.
One of Frank’s strengths was his ability to bring other lawyers along at the firm. His coach proposed the idea of speaking with the senior partners about taking on this role for the firm. He knew that there were several other attorneys who would be retiring soon, and he believed the company would benefit from smoother transitions. His senior partners agreed.
Frank led the way in putting in place a way for the firm to work with retiring attorneys in this transition process. He began to transition his own client relationships and mentored younger attorneys in the firm. He also used the time to begin to put his toe in the water of his other interests that he had put on the back burner. In doing so, he began to envision a life outside the firm.
When Frank retired two years later, he felt good about how he was ending his career with the firm and excited about the new life that lay ahead of him.
Note: To honor confidentiality and protect the privacy of our clients we do not use names and have altered possibly identifying details in this Case Study.
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