Studies show lawyers are more successful in shared law office space. How 3 skeptical attorneys found game-changing success in their legal suite.
Recent studies conducted by reputable institutions like the Harvard Business Review confirm that professionals who share office space with their peers earn more money, find more meaning in their work and have greater job control.
It’s for these reasons that small firm attorneys have been sharing law office space for decades, and have been doing so in professionally managed legal suites since the 1960’s.
Yet, we’re still surprised when we meet lawyers who are skeptical about the game-changing impact shared office space can have on law firm profits.
These three lawyers were among the most skeptical of any we had seen come through Law Firm Suites. Here are their stories:
In two weeks, skeptical commercial litigator gets enough referrals to pay rent…for 3 years.
The biggest upside to sharing space with other lawyers is the potential for referrals and co-counsel opportunities. The reality is, if you put two lawyers in close proximity to each other, over time they will start exchanging referrals. Put a few dozen solo lawyers in a shared office space and, with a little management, the quantity of referrals can be significant.
We met commercial litigator, Martin Shell, when he was about to start his solo law practice. Martin has had a great career at prestigious firms and was ready to strike out on his own. Like every lawyer who starts a practice without a meaningful book of business, Martin had concerns about where his revenue would come from. Keeping expenses low was a priority.
Martin is an affable, fun guy who we knew would excel in our shared office space community. Skeptical that we could deliver on the promise of referrals and co-counsel opportunities, and concerned about getting over over-exposed with expenses, he wasn’t sure if he should get an office space or inexpensive virtual office. With some gentle nudging, we convinced him to try a modest workspace on a month-to-month basis.
Anxious to prove to him we could deliver, within two weeks we connected him with a project that produced enough revenue to pay his rent for the year. Over the next six months, he received several other referrals, producing enough revenue to cover his rent for the next three years. Martin upgraded to a bigger office and began hiring other suitemates to handle some of his overflow work.
According to Martin, “ I was initially skeptical about Law Firm Suite’s referral claims. I shouldn’t have been. This ‘found money’ enabled me to upgrade my office after only four months. Law Firm Suites’ Referral System really works!”
New solos become referral and networking partners, achieving revenue stability in just 6 months.
Trust and estates lawyer, Thom Chu, and Matrimonial lawyer, Joleena Louis, are textbook examples of how to maximize shared law office space. Thom and Joleena both attended law school at Hofstra University and serendipitously re-connected with each other on Thom’s first day as a virtual office client.
Both Thom and Joleena started their solo law practices in the same month without a starting book of clients.
Within a few weeks, Thom was introduced to a BNI networking group from another suitemate, and he soon sponsored Joleena’s membership. Networking to meet potential referral sources, both inside and outside their shared office suite and became a core component of Thom and Joleena’s marketing strategy.
Thom and Joleena began collaborating on client projects and leveraged their more “experienced” suitemates for practice management tips, support in their practice areas and general business advice.
They also started co-counseling with other suitemates in different practice disciplines, which enabled them to hold on to more cases while reducing their malpractice risk.
Within six months, Thom’s practice was stable enough to graduate from a virtual office to a full-time workspace within the suite. During this same period, Joleena’s practice flourished and she upgraded from a workstation to a private office.
By working together and leveraging their suitemates, in just six months Thom and Joleena achieved milestones in their respective solo practices that take most other lawyers up to two years to achieve.
Says Thom about his shared law office space, “I go to work wearing a smile because it is the engine that powers my law practice.”
According to Joleena, choosing shared office space was one of the best decisions she made when starting her firm. “I don’t think I would be nearly as successful if I started anywhere else,” said Ms. Louis.