Introduction and Objectives

Our profession has changed dramatically over time. Lawyers are no longer committed to the same firm for their whole careers, and regularly move to new firms or leave to start their own practices.  A lawyer's departure often tests the professionalism of the lawyers involved and raises many ethical, legal, business and personal issues. Lawyers’ ethical obligations are best fulfilled when the departing lawyer and firm agree to engage in cooperative discussions, designed to protect the interests of the clients they serve.  

The objectives of the When a Lawyer Leaves a Firm module are: 

  • to learn about ethical considerations when leaving a firm, including your duties to clients; 
  • to recognize what steps should be taken prior to departing the firm; 
  • to understand what communications may be made to clients, including when, to whom, and how to give notice to clients; and 
  • to be aware of property and post-departure issues when leaving a firm. 

Please note that Withdrawal of Service, generally and as it relates to departure from a law firm, is covered in Module 12.

Last modified: Tuesday, 22 August 2023, 1:53 PM