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Law Firms and Open Office Space

Law Firms need and want are adapting and providing special amenities for attorneys. Lately, law firms are reconfiguring existing LawSpace, focusing on more light and open areas or moving to a more "updated" look and design attorney where may congregate yet still find private space.  Productivity is always the focus.  After the Pandemic, lawyers more than ever, value interpersonal working environment, which is important for both staff and attorneys. 

"Capacious corner offices, epitomized by shows like “Suits” and the 1980s hit “L.A. Law,” are rare, replaced with collaborative spaces and multimedia-equipped conference rooms. Lawyers of all seniority, including the so-called rainmakers, now sit in offices of similar size with uniform furniture."  Hybrid models have been birthed and lawyers appreciate the flexibility. 

Law Firms are Still Big Tenants 

"Law firms have been a bright spot in the otherwise challenged commercial market, leasing 7.8 million square feet in 2023, up 45.1 percent from 2022 and the highest since 2019, according to Savills."  While some law firms are moving to smaller footprints, other firms have not and have even increased the space for hiring new lawyers, and hosting lawyers in transit.

Technology Rules in the Law Office

The newest audio and video technology are being integrated into exisiting law firm space and is a big impetus for law firms moving to new LawSpace. Also, new designs incorporate small but important changes like electrical outlets at individual seats so lawyers have what they need at their fingertips.  "Larger firms are including rooms for virtual hearings after many judges moved to remote proceedings at the onset of the pandemic, said Catherine Heath, the chief executive of HYL Architecture in Washington."


Collaboration is Vital for Attorneys - the Space must meet this Need

Heidi K. Gardner, PHD of Harvard Business school, has assessed more than a decade ago the vital role of collaboration within law firms to harness the full potential of their collective expertise for client benefit.  It takes a team of lawyers to tackle complex legal challenges.  Ms. Gardner's paper discusses obstacles to effective collaboration, including trust and cultural barriers, and proposes strategies to overcome these issues through trust-building, adjusting star-based systems, and effective management under pressure. The benefits of such collaboration are emphasized for both the firm and individuals, highlighting enhanced innovation, client satisfaction, and competitive advantage. 

Lawyers, whether a solo practitioner or member of a large global law firm, thrive on collaboration and in-office participation.  The LawSpace needs to fit those needs, no matter if the square footage shrinks or not.