Planning for the Unexpected: How to Prepare for Closing Down Your Practice

When starting a career as an attorney, no one wants to think about the end of it. The key to protecting your clients, colleagues, and family from the uncertainty is to develop a succession plan. To assist in this task, the Cincinnati Bar Association has compiled resources here and offers an Inventory Attorney Program to allow you to designate a successor attorney to handle the closing of your practice.

CBA Inventory Program form and checklist  

Closing, Selling, Winding up a Practice


  1.  Formal Opinion 92-369
    The ABA Committee outlines the minimum standards for a lawyer’s succession plan and the duties of the inventory attorney.
  2. Advisory Opinion 2008-3
    Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recommends that lawyers follow the statutory procedure for the disposition of unclaimed funds under O.R.C. 169 when the client’s identity or location is unknown.
  3. Advisory Opinion 2019-6
    The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct advises lawyers to develop a record retention schedule and procedure for handling former client files and explains what records should be included in the file as client property.


  1. Closing a Practice, by Gretchen K. Mote and Merisa K. Bowers (May 31, 2023)
    Gretchen K. Mote and Merisa K. Bowers break down how to close down a practice into seven easy to follow steps.
  2. The Death of the Solo Practitioner: Now Whose Problem Is This, by Gary J. Leppla (June 17, 2021)
    Gary J. Leppla as part of the Senior Lawyer Guidebook breaks down the ethical considerations for establishing a succession plan and what happens when there is none



  1. Closing a Practice, Gretchen Mote (May 27, 2021)
    The OBLIC provides recommendations on steps to take when closing your law practice.
  2. Closing a Law Practice, Gretchen K. Mote and Merisa K. Bowers (Feb. 02, 2023)
    OBLIC breaks down how to handle closing all aspects of you law practice including old files, IOLTA accounts, and insurance considerations.

Provided with permission from OBLIC.