The legal industry is changing. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way lawyers work, with some embracing the flexibility of remote work while others emphasizing the importance of in-person collaboration.
But for most small firms, office space rental is a big expense that needs to be considered carefully. As the legal industry continues to evolve, so do the needs and preferences of law firms when it comes to office space. Is there a solution in-between costly office spaces and having no office at all?
Before you sign that lease, consider these 5 factors that will help you select an office space that meets your unique requirements.
1. Location, Accessibility, and Client Convenience
Having an office with strategic proximity to courthouses, government offices, and clients can significantly impact your firm’s daily operations and client relationships. A conveniently located office not only reduces travel time for attorneys but also makes it easier for clients to reach the firm for meetings and consultations.
Deciding where your law firm will be located also plays a huge role in attracting and retaining the best employees. A recent study by Thomson Reuters of solo and small law firms found that work/life balance is a top priority for attorneys, and your office location can significantly impact this with commute times.
Top clients AND talent are attracted to Class A office buildings in the Chicago area. And with Amata, you can access them in a way that suits your growth needs and budget.
2. Space Design and Layout
When selecting office space, consider the layout and design to ensure it aligns with your specific needs.
For example, most lawyers do not need to come into the office on a regular basis, but they will occasionally require a conference room. Whether it is for client meetings, gatherings with your team, or space to focus outside of home, your office space should have conference rooms available for the day.
With Amata’s hybrid office model, solo and small law firms can have on-demand conference rooms for up to 18 people. You can book a room with tech capabilities for presentations and lots of coffee, so you can impress clients without the fixed cost of a traditional office space.
3. Technology and Infrastructure
A well-equipped office should provide the necessary technology to seamlessly run your law firm. This includes high-speed internet, secure networking, video conferencing, and reliable phone systems to support your legal teams.
This is why at Amata we provide a full-service law firm space with the flexibility you require. More than 800 law firms and professional services companies benefit from the following (either directly or through our vetted partnerships):
- A client in-take process
- Support staff (on-site paralegals, live receptionists, docket clerks)
- Practice management software and/or a CRM
- Billing software
- Computers/printers/copiers/mail equipment/phone
- Private and virtual offices
- Networking opportunities
In today’s competitive environment, reducing your office costs is vital to investing more in technology, automation tools, and compensation. As international lawyer Sandra Chiarlone realized, the result is effectively servicing your clients and growing a successful law practice.
4. Flexibility and Lease Terms
With today’s fluctuations in caseloads and staffing needs, having flexible lease terms becomes a must. Ideally, you would find a comfortable space with a short-term lease that is not costly to terminate.
At Amata, we focus on affordable AND scalable plans. After all, cheap rent may not lead to a reduction in costs. For example, without having the ability to add or drop offices during the term of the contract, you may not know the true cost of hiring a new associate.
But with Amata, if that associate leaves the firm for any reason, that office and the associated costs are terminated — protecting your profitability from incremental overhead expenses.
5. Health and Safety Measures
A home-based work setting may pose challenges in ensuring adherence to post-COVID-19 health and safety protocols. A professional workspace will ensure proper ventilation, sanitization protocols, and established contingency plans for emergencies and crises.
This not only protects the firm from potential liabilities but also strengthens the trust and confidence of both clients and personnel in the firm’s dedication to their well-being.
Conclusion: Selecting the right office spaces comes down to flexibility
It is hard to predict all the factors that may impact your office space. Will you require extra offices? A conference room? New technology?
That is why choosing the right office space for your law firm comes down to flexibility. Location, accessibility, space design, technology, and health and safety measures are all key factors. By having flexibility around these aspects, law firms can create a workspace that not only meets their current needs but also positions them for future growth and success in the ever-evolving legal landscape.
At Amata, we have traditional and modern designs to choose from. All locations are professional, in prestigious locations, and within walking distance from major public transportation. Find the true office flexibility you seek.