This week in Young, Hungry and Committed, virtual office New York attorney, Vivian Sobers talks about how vital it is for a solo attorney to choose an office provider that is a good fit for their practice.
As a solo- practitioner, I believe choosing where to locate your office is almost as important as choosing your hourly rate. This is especially true in New York City. Potential clients are relatively educated in the “choosing a lawyer” process and therefore, your commercial address matters. (You can’t get away with listing your apartment number as a suite number for long.)
One of the most important decisions a solo has to make is choosing the office provider that is right for them.
Choosing the correct office provider for your business may be even more important than choosing your address.
This is even more important if you are going to work from home most of the time, like myself. Many people believe virtual offices are a commodity; that you are just paying for an address. I have found that many of my colleagues believe this to be true.
My experience with Law Firm Suites.
My experience is a little bit different. My office provider has helped me network, narrow my practice area, and has provided me clients. Not many other places can state that.
Being a virtual office attorney, as opposed to an attorney with a physical office may be cost-effective, but it is more challenging when it comes to leveraging the knowledge of other attorneys. Frankly, it’s just the lack of proximity to my other virtual office colleagues.
As virtual office clients, we do not have the benefit of randomly bumping into other attorneys in the office hallway on a daily basis. We do not have the opportunity to just knock on someone’s door and bounce a legal theory off them.
As a litigator, I am always on-the go and always making conversations in court. But if I were a transactional attorney, I believe the isolation of a virtual office may hurt people’s practices, especially if they are just starting one.
Law Firm Suites has found a way to battle the anomie that can be inherent with practicing law with a virtual office. Every month, Law Firm Suites puts on community lunches for all its clients.
I know it may sound cheesy and a little kumbaya-esque, but it actually really creates a dialogue during every meeting. The best part of the dialogue – it’s about everyone, not just yourself.
I was able to refer another attorney a case!
For example, during the last meeting, I listened to a younger attorney explain his practice areas. Well, I guess listen is a half-truth. I heard a younger attorney explain that his focus was transactional in nature.
I thought nothing of it at the time.
Then, four days later, I sent off an email asking for the attorney’s name. It was like clock-work. Or even better – like hypnosis. I remembered him stating his practice area, his background and his referral sources.
The best part about remembering is that he will remember me.
Because I referred him a case.
In the end, you can spend your money anywhere. Seriously. Anywhere. Dinner. Drink. Movies… Anywhere.
But those places may not make you money…
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Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.