Why Estate Planning is the Best Practice Area for Most Lawyers

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Explore:  Career Development

There was a time when I wasn’t sure I was going to continue serving lawyers. I had a mid-life crisis (or as I like to think of it—a Spiritual Awakening) and I did a deep dive soul-searching inquiry as to what I wanted to be when I grew up.

To set the proper context here, this was happening when I had already built two million dollar businesses (one an estate planning and business planning law practice and the other business coaching estate planning lawyers themselves), written a best-selling book on legal planning for parents, and done a whole lot of television.

I was seriously toying with the idea of getting out of law altogether. (I’ll have to save the specifics of that story for another day.)

Then, Martha Hartney invited me to come speak to her law school class in Denver and because she was a good friend and our kids hadn’t seen each other in years (since she moved from California to Colorado), I said yes.

When I got to Colorado, Martha and I spent quite a while talking about what she was going to do once she graduated. She knew she wanted to serve families and kids. It was important to her to make a difference in the lives of children. And, she was thinking about going to work as a Guardian Ad Litem or some other kind of public advocate for children.

I knew she would have been making a mistake if she had gone down that road.

Why? Because it would lead to burnout, low pay, exhaustion, frustration and, in the end, not so much impact. Plus, I knew Martha was going to have to earn a good living to support her kids once her alimony ran out.

I urged her to consider estate planning. She said “no way, too dry.”  I understood why she felt that way because I had felt that way once upon a time. I also knew that if she tried estate planning the way I did it in my practice and taught it to lawyers in our Personal Family Lawyer® program, she wouldn’t feel it was too dry and she’d make great money doing it. I also knew she would have a lot of personal satisfaction because she’d really be helping kids and families the way she wanted to when she went to law school.

She was resistant. And, I was considering the possibility of not training lawyers anymore. But there we were and it was no accident…

I told Martha I’d stick with training lawyers for a while if she would give estate planning a try.  And she did. So I did.

What happened was magical.

I moved to Colorado two months later and got the pleasure of an up close and personal look at a lawyer (Martha) implementing my systems in a brand new practice from scratch...

I got to watch the way she lit up to discover that estate planning isn’t dry at all. In fact, it’s full of the juice of life. I got to watch as step by step, following my systems, Martha built her practice from brand-spankin’ new scratch into a thriving practice serving families, making a difference in their lives, and being absolutely loved by the people she served. And, I got to watch her go from nothing to making a great living.

Watching Martha implement my systems for serving families and small business owners in her practice—and fall in love with it along the way—re-ignited my own passion for serving lawyers. Martha reminded me why I had started my business serving lawyers in the first place. (So that no lawyer would ever have to reinvent the wheel when it came to creating systems for an estate planning or business planning law practice.)

Martha reminded me that estate planning truly is the best practice area for almost any lawyer and that all it takes is the right systems, support and tools, all of which I had created in my own practice and been teaching to other lawyers for years…

Martha reminded me that my work makes a great difference in the world, so I decided to rebuild what I almost let go. And to make it way better.

It really is true that every breakthrough is preceded by a breakdown.

The Best Practice Area for Most Lawyers

So what makes estate planning the best practice area for just about every lawyer?

1. It’s systematizable. This means you get to work reasonable hours while making a great difference in your client’s lives. In my 4th year of practice, my firm was bringing in more than a million dollars a year and I only went into the office 3 days a week.

2. It’s flexible. See above. You make your own schedule. You decide when and how much you work. And how much you make. With the right systems in place.

3. It’s impactful. When you are doing estate planning the right way (not just a forms and docs practice), you know you are making a big impact in your clients’ lives because they are thanking you, sending you flowers and gifts, and inviting you to family functions. You can see the impact you are making in their eyes, their deep breaths of relief, and it feels so good.

4. It’s lucrative. When you price and package your services properly in an estate planning practice, your average fees are $3,000-$3,500 and quite often even more. It doesn’t take that many new clients a month to hit your revenue goals.

Today, Martha isn’t just a student, she’s a teacher… She’s come to love this area of practice so much that she and I created a course to teach other lawyers how to do estate planning the impactful and gratifying way. You can listen to a call we hosted about it here or watch a video series we made about it here.

I want you to love your law practice. You deserve it. Your clients deserve it. Your family deserves it. The world deserves it. We are here to help.