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Home / Podcast  / 072: Should I Build a Law Firm for Sale? with Denise Cullen

Have you ever considered what it takes to construct a law firm that can thrive without you?

On this episode of Great Practice, Great Life, Denise Cullen of the Atticus team joins Steve to flip the script and extract his thoughts on creating a legal practice designed for a future sale. We dive into the nuances of why a firm’s independence attracts potential buyers and how cultivating a life beyond the office walls can elevate your firm’s appeal.

Throughout the conversation, we tackle the emotional journey of succession planning, confronting the challenges and triumphs of handing over the keys to your legal kingdom. During a much-needed break, Steve stumbled upon a realization: true productivity blooms from well-timed rest. This revelation extends to your firm’s value, where nurturing a culture that prizes balance is progressive and lucrative. We also explore hiring practices that set the stage for a seamless transition, ensuring your legacy is intentionally carried forward.

Wrapping things up, we discuss attorneys’ lasting impact on their communities. We amplify our positive influence by reshaping the attorney-client relationship and focusing on the local changes we create. Our discussion underscores redefining success to encompass career accomplishments and the tangible differences we make in our clients’ lives.

Join Denise and Steve as we navigate the rewarding path of building a law firm that exemplifies professional achievement and personal fulfillment.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Why building an independent law firm increases sales value
  • Strategies for successful law firm exits
  • Avoiding overlooking succession planning
  • Being indispensable reduces attractiveness to buyers
  • Eight key rules for effective transition
  • Taking breaks to enhance productivity
  • Steve’s experience taking weekends off, which led to increased performance and benefitted the firm’s market appeal
  • Automating marketing for proactive client engagement
  • Efficiency and aligning the practice with personal well-being can deter the desire to sell
  • Aligning the practice with your personal vision
  • Establishing client care programs to increase sale value and client-centric profitability
  • Lawyers’ local impact through personal client changes
  • The importance of positive contributions to the community and individuals
  • Steve’s personal transformation from disliking other lawyers to personal growth and a focus on both a successful practice and a fulfilling life

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Supporting Resources:

If you have a topic you would like us to cover in an upcoming episode, please email us at or

Denise Cullen: Practice Growth Diagnostic Advisor & Director of Member Services

Team Leader Certification

Dominate Your Market®

Practice Growth Program


Great Practice. Great Life.® by Atticus® – 040: Generating New Revenue with Client Care Programs with Vinnie Bonazzoli

Great Practice. Great Life.® by Atticus® – 042: Creating a Lifetime Legacy Statement: The Foundation of a Great Life with Teresa Morgan

Atticus Lawyer Coaching YouTube Channel

Steve Riley

Certified Practice Advisor & Attorney

Steve Riley has coached attorneys for more than 20 years. His one-on-one coaching focuses on a limited number of top producing attorneys committed to taking their practices to new levels of excellence, profit, and personal success. He also presents at group coaching workshops around the country for individual law firms, state bar associations, and other legal organizations.

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