Need something to gain esteem for your small firm or solo practice? Check out what an NYC virtual office has to offer.
NYC Virtual Office: The Definition
Virtual offices are characterized as a financial agreement in which a low monthly fee is paid by the tenant primarily for use of the commercial address. Fees can begin as low as $100 a month depending on if one has non-exclusive use of office space or the amenities that come with the space such as conference room time, professional grade Internet, or even office equipment that is a necessary resources for any small firm or solo attorney.
Many attorneys could use an NYC virtual office rental, but who are they?
Attorneys in need of a virtual rental typically fall into one of three categories:
- An attorney in the process of going solo or started his or her own small firm.
- The at-home attorney is need of a some type of commercial address.
- Out-of-town attorneys or firms in need of a regional office address to do business.
Why do solo attorneys and small law firms use a virtual office rental?
A virtual office becomes an option for a variety of reasons and every attorney differs. When analyzing we have found that the three most prominent reasons are:
- Virtual offices prove to be incredibly cost effective as opposed to the traditional office rental agreement;
- Virtual offices give light to referrals, which are an invaluable resource to any solo attorney; and
- From a marketing perspective, it boosts the firm’s image indefinitely.
Why newly solo attorneys frequent virtual offices.
Price is a key selling point for an NYC virtual office. While most prefer to work in a physical space, this option may not always be available. There is a minimal expense compared to traditional offices, and this can appeal to many.
Credibility also matters to new attorneys because it is something that is not instantaneous. A virtual office helps one to gain that credibility they desire with a commercial address.
Appearances are everything with marketing the look of operating from a commercial office address saves you money from your pocket. You can command higher rates as opposed to someone who operates from home where they might be expected to charge significantly less.
Community also has leverage for a virtual space as some spaces have a plentiful legal community. Having like-minded individuals matters in your chosen virtual space because you might have access to potential referral sources.
Why home-based attorneys frequent virtual offices.
Unlike the newly solo attorney who wants a physical office rental but can’t afford it right away, some solo attorneys have made a commitment to working from a home office on a permanent basis. Often this decision is made for lifestyle reasons, for example, if the attorney has children and wants to be close to home to assist with childcare, or simply, if the attorney wants a commute that’s as simple as rolling out of bed to their dining room table.
Being home-based has many similarities to new solos for reasoning. It’s all about costs. In conjunction with costs, they can use a designated space for client matters.
The right virtual office program can do wonders for the solo attorney as such an arrangement gives one connections to other professionals.
Collaboration is what law is all about and it is critical for attorneys to be successful. In many senses, collaborations reduces the risk of malpractice.
A major issue with at-home practice is isolation. Over time, one will see being completely at home is not beneficial.
The right virtual office arrangement can mean the difference between success or failure in the profession of law. An attorney based from home should seek a virtual office environment that is lawyer specific or at least caters to those in law and where networking opportunities are encouraged among those lawyers. When seeking out a virtual office, it is important to gauge whether such a provider has regular networking events, referral programs, or some type of perk that helps to further develop your practice.
Why out-of-town firms frequent virtual offices.
Expansion is a good thing for any business. For example, if one has a law firm focused on pharmaceuticals in Los Angeles, it might be wise to open up shop in NYC where pharmaceuticals also have a strong industry. NYC is the epicenter of almost every industry so gaining a new clientele here certainly is possible. A virtual office is a cost effective way to further expand your reach.
Additionally, for the law firm that already has some New York City clients, but does not have a NYC office address, other attorneys may be reluctant to refer cases because the firm does not have a “local enough” presence. This is often the case for firms in Long Island, New Jersey, or even in boroughs other than Manhattan.
This scenario came up recently at Law Firm Suites. An attorney needed to refer a client to a sales tax attorney. Another lawyer in the LFS community had recommended a firm that was based in Philly. The Philly firm was perfectly capable of handling the matter and does so for other NYC clients, the referring attorney would not recommend the Philly firm to his client because they did not have a Manhattan office address. Had the firm maintained a cheap virtual office address and 212 phone number, this lucrative case would have been theirs.
From time-to-time, out-of-town firms may also need first-hand advice from a local attorney about the nuances of local practice. Inside information about a judge or adversary can be invaluable. A virtual office rental, particularly one with a heavy concentration of attorneys, gets the out-of-town law firm access to local knowledge.
Finally, a Manhattan office presence may enable the out-of-town firm to charge higher rates, even in the local area. In a recent study, the National Consumer Law Center discovered that New York small firm lawyers with 3 to 5 years of experience, on average, charge $59.00 an hour more than their New Jersey counterparts.
By merely renting a virtual office and including a New York City office address on a law firm’s website, business card, and firm letterhead, out-of-town lawyers can often command higher billable rates than their local counterparts.