Designing a new office space for a law firm requires careful consideration and planning. Not only must the space be esthetically pleasing, but must function well for those who work within it. In addition, there are many other considerations that must be addressed. Among them are what type of space to choose, budgetary constraints, room for expansion, and technology. CHOOSING A SPACE
The old adage in real estate goes “location, location, location.” This also holds true when considering a space for your firm. In our fact pattern the supervising attorney has two choices. The first is a shared space with five other solo practitioners. The second is a suite of offices that are located adjacent to a mid-sized firm.
I would recommend to the supervising attorney that we choose the suite of offices. We would be given the opportunity and space to expand as our firm grows. Also, by locating ourselves adjacent to a mid-sized firm, we position ourselves to appear as a larger firm than what we are. This can help to create a positive first impression the first time clients visit the office. If we were to position ourselves within an office with five other practitioners, it would be less apparent to clients that we were running our own firm. BUDGETARY CONCERNS
Although leasing as individual office space is often more expensive than sharing space with other attorney’s, I believe the firm would benefit from having its own space for several reasons. Image, along with reputation, is a key factor when a client chooses a firm. We want to convey to clients that we are a successful firm and having our own space will help to convey that. Also, sharing an office space with attorneys who practice other areas of law could lead to an uncomfortable environment or situation for our clients. A woman coming to see her divorce attorney may feel uncomfortable sharing a waiting room with a man, possibly charged with a violent crime, waiting to see his criminal...
References: Roper, B.D. (2006). Practical Law Office Management. New York, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.
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