This short survey will serve as a planning tool to help law firms identify possible gaps in client coverage caused as a result of the firm’s aging partner population. Results from each survey will be tabulated and returned to the individuals filling out the survey.  If you have multiple offices and you wish to have a separate report for each office, re-click the survey access button to invoke another form for completion.

We ask that a knowledgeable person in your firm complete this survey. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete, depending on the number of lawyers in your firm.

The data will be compiled into a confidential database managed by Lawrence Stiffman, Ph.D, MPH,  Applied Statistics Laboratory, a survey research firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Stephen P. Gallagher
Narberth, Pennsylvania

* 1. Please indicate those types of retirement plans currently available to partners/shareholders:

  Current Situation in my Firm Previously used then dropped Never applicable in my firm Don't Know
No retirement set asides for partners
Traditional 401 (k) Plan
401 (k) / Profit-Sharing
Traditional Defined Benefit Plans
Cash Balance Plans
Pay/Buy outs over time

* 2. Which of the following statements describes your succession
planning process currently in place? 

* 3. How important are these stumbling blocks your firm has encountered in working through the issue of succession planning?

  Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important
Law firm seems to have too many more pressing issues. 
Senior partners don't want to retire. 
Senior partners don't want to forfeit current compensation by transitioning client work
Partners are reluctant to commit to leave full-time practice. 
Partners are hesitant about relinquishing client responsibility. 
We don't have adequate mid-level partners to transition work to. 
Clients resist transition to different partners.

* 4. How important are each of the following in setting a succession plan in your firm.

  Not Important Somewhat Important Very  Important
Equity partners are not sufficiently busy.
Non-equity partners are not sufficiently busy.
Growth in lawyer headcount is required to assure firm success. 
Greater utilization of part-time and contract lawyers is needed. 
There is a need for fewer, not more, equity partners going forward. 
We increasingly look to outsource legal work. 
Underperformers need to be cut earlier. 
Equity partners should turn over ownership rights on a designated date. 
Partners should be able to move away from full-time practice according to their own timeline – coordinated with firm leadership.

* 5. How concerned are you about the firm’s:

  Greatly Concerned Somewhat Concerned Not  Concerned
Preparedness to deal with retirement of so many lawyers in the next several years
Transition of clients to younger partners
Quality of your younger lawyers
Paying out aging partner population
Willingness to invest in the future
Interest in involving younger partners in the succession planning process

* 8. Please check each of the following statements if it applies to your firm:

* 9. Contact Information

* 10. Feel free to comment on this issue.  Thanks for taking the time to help us help you.