Coworking has a wide variety of benefits, but solo attorneys choose it for three main benefits that help to further their careers.
What is coworking?
Coworking is a work style in which professionals share a physical work environment; however, these individuals may not be employed by the same organization. In technical terms, a shared law office space is coworking. Coworking promotes various benefits that other work environments may not. For example, a steady line of referrals and seeking out legal advice from an experienced colleague in the office comes more easily when the resources are in the office.
Coworking also describes a type of office space where the act of coworking happens. Coworking spaces are generally large, airy rooms with a more casual feel than traditional office space. Think ‘Last Supper’ style tables and chairs, clever decor, white board walls, lots of coffee and sometimes beer.
3 Reasons why solo attorneys choose coworking.
1. It is much cheaper than a typical office rental.
Most newly solo attorneys have a limited amount of resources when starting out. Coworking can be a great solution in potentially attaining more of the necessary resources to be a successful solo attorney. Shared law office spaces promote collaboration, referral sharing, community, and co-counsel opportunities without the large overhead a physical, full-time office may have.
2. It offers collaborative opportunities in a social environment.
Actual use of the office is important in coworking and those who use the office most frequently reap the most out of the potential benefits. Having a dedicated space to do work does wonders for the professional mindset especially when one is surrounded by like-minded individuals.
For example, in a B-to-C practice such as immigration, attorneys often have practice questions in family law, criminal defense and employment.
In a coworking center that caters to lawyers, attorneys have access to other lawyers with varied expertise. This is quite beneficial when one needs answers to quick questions or is in need of co-counsel of some other type of legal expertise.
In a shared law office space where coworking takes place, solo attorneys are able to access the legal community available. Having other solos with niche practice areas allows the solo to offer more of a “full-service” representation should the need arise at some point.
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 centers promote networking and collaboration. Lack of physical walls in a coworking space is key. When a work environment is open-aired, it creates an open atmosphere among colleagues. Conversation is easier to engage in because you don’t have that closed-door feeling. This gives way to long-lasting professional relationships that ultimately evolve into referral sharing. Referrals directly benefit your income and can even help to pay your coworking facility’s fee.
That being said, this level of referral sharing directly depends on the types of members within the community. If a coworking facility is not heavily comprised of lawyers, the referral exchange may be weak or non-existing at all.