Dual Threat: Why You Need a Backup Attorney

Every year on your malpractice insurance application you’re asked to identify a “backup attorney” – another attorney who can help you to manage your practice for short-term (or long-term) absences.  Most lawyers just write down any old name – often without much thought – and usually without asking the subject whether or not they even want to be a backup attorney.

Not only should you be more thoughtful about making the selection in the first place, you should (especially if you are a solo attorney, or the sole owner of a small firm) build your backup attorney relationship with succession planning in mind.  And while most lawyers who tackle this problem think of it in that way: here’s how ownership of the law firm will pass upon my disability or death – there is another really useful aspect of adding a backup attorney, which is to cover for short-term absences.

I can tell you some stories about solo attorneys who never go on vacation, and that’s a damn shame, that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic when everybody just got really comfortable and used to staying home.  So, if you feel like you can’t go on vacation because you’re worried about court coverage or getting documents signed, you just need another attorney, who can step in, and do those things for you.  Now, you’ll want to have a contract for your backup attorney and figure out a secure way for that person to access your law firm staff and systems, but that’s all manageable.

If you’re looking to take some time off, a backup attorney may be your answer.

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Need some backup?  We can help!

The Wyoming State Bar offers free law practice management consulting services through Red Cave Law Firm Consulting.

To request a consult, visit the Wyoming State Bar’s law practice management page, and start running your law firm like a business.

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