Coworking serves as a viable option for many attorneys, but some still wonder what makes it so appealing.
What is coworking?
Coworking – The Verb
Coworking as a verb is a type of work option in which professionals share a work environment. This does not necessarily mean that each working professional is affiliated with the same organization; it just means that they work around each other and any shared law office space is technically a co-working environment. This benefits attorneys in a variety of ways such as an invaluable referral system and even practice advice.
Coworking – The Noun
Coworking as a noun is indicative of the type of physical space where work takes place. These types of spaces are typically large rooms. They have a casual vibe as opposed to the traditional office space which may be a little more buttoned up and formal. Large tables are a common theme with a plethora of seating. The decor may represent a particular vibe and even some perks like coffee or beer may be available.
Is coworking – the verb – a good fit for lawyers?
Coworking can be a suitable option for attorneys when it is done the right way. Collaboration is key in the world of law whether it is with clients or other attorneys and when one can collaborate successfully with other attorneys he or she can truly be successful. Lawyers have done this for years. It just was not called “coworking” then.
Collaboration is what really makes coworking successful. Bouncing ideas off of a legal colleague is technically a coworking situation as well as a co-counsel opportunity.
Is coworking – the noun – a good fit for lawyers?
Multi-professional coworking centers may be a viable workplace for attorneys, particularly those who primarily work from home but want an inexpensive, professional workplace to use from time to time.
Choosing a potential locale is probably the most important decision in finding a coworking space. Your particular location promotes a certain type of business culture and is suited for clients whose values fall in line with that culture. For example, one center may be designed for a particular professional market like finance while another may be better suited for tech entrepreneurs.
3 Reasons why lawyers choose coworking.
1. It is much cheaper than a typical office rental.
While not only being convenient, coworking centers promote affordability for solo attorneys needing a premium commercial address.It gives access to a much needed work space without the wallet busting price.
Coworking centers typically charge between $300 and $800 dollars a month for access to a non-exclusive space in the coworking center (read: First-Come-First-Served).
Coworking can serve as the most suitable option for newly solo attorneys who desire the benefits of a shared office space (i.e. the community, collaboration, etc.) without the full-time costs of a physical office. These benefits serve to help a lawyer’s career indefinitely.
2. It offers collaborative opportunities in a social environment.
In our experience, the lawyers that receive the most benefit from a shared office space are the ones who most frequently use the space. Coworking allows attorneys to use a dedicated space on a first-come-first-served basis with like-minded colleagues.
Other attorneys in certain practice disciplines often provide complementary support to someone in a shared office because such advice can be headed within the network of attorneys.
For example, in a B-to-C practice such as immigration, attorneys often have practice questions in family law, criminal defense and employment.
Having access to other colleagues is a pinnocal of a lawyers-only shared office space. This community of like minded individuals allows the idea of of full-service style representation to be more true and carry as much validity as possible.
3. There is an opportunity to increase your income through referral sharing.
Collaborative work environments, like those found in coworking centers, often result in client referrals.
Coworking structure is styled in a way that boosts growth by promoting networking and collaboration opportunities. An absence of physical walls displays the concept of easy access, therefore, it promotes and creates professional relationships that last. A friend made in the office has the potential for referral sharing which can have a direct impact to to your finances and fees.
This being said, referral sharing is a direct function of the types of members within the coworking community. Multi-professional coworking facilities generally skew to tech heavy clientele. Traditionally, these types of professionals are not the best referral source for attorneys. On paper, it may seem like shooting fish in a barrel, but in reality, these types of professionals are generally not in a position to refer meaningful business to solo attorneys and small law firms.
Solo attorneys and small law firms may be better served by seeking out a coworking facility exclusive to lawyers.