Instead of a standard lease agreement, virtual offices provide attorneys with a secondary option that is not so hard on the wallet.
A virtual office agreement shares similarities to a typical office rental agreement. However, instead of the exclusive use of an office space, attorneys pay for the use of a commercial address and non-exclusive use of amenities (i.e. conference rooms, etc.). This type of agreement typically starts at a low price as opposed to an exclusive office rental that may cost significantly more.
Solo attorneys are one of the most common types of clients to frequent virtual offices in New York City. The reasoning behind the use of a virtual office rental can vary; regardless of that reasoning, virtual office tenants prefer to keep their workspace familiar, especially if the attorney’s common workspace is a home office or they have offices in another locale. A local commercial office is typically necessary for an attorney to conduct any type of face-to-face interaction.
In fact, many attorneys choose a New York City virtual office based on the address of the provider, thereby creating the image of the firms’ exclusivity and largess.
Why do solo attorneys and small firms choose a virtual office?
A virtual office provides a Plan B approach to any attorney who is looking to not break the bank. Choosing the virtual office arrangement serves as a great cost-effective alternative as opposed to other types of contracts provided by typical lease agreements.
Virtual offices make it convenient for a solo attorney to have access to office space or conference room time when necessary. It’s inexpensive due to the pay as you need it structure. Also, virtual office agreements are commonly paid for month-to-month. Therefore, there is no need to feel like a client is locked into a contract, which is what typically happens in a traditional office arrangement.
Traditional office services, such as guest reception and mail services may be provided as part of the monthly subscription fee. Other office services, like phone answering and copy services, can be purchased on a monthly or per-use basis.
Virtually office arrangements are very similar to traditional shared office rentals; the main difference is the unbundled fees. The virtual office is the perfect front for an attorney who likes to do things somewhere other than the traditional office setting but needs the amenities to maintain a level of professionalism. Moreover, virtual offices are perfectly fine in most regions to use as a genuine office.
When renting a virtual office from a provider who offers reception services as part of the package, your clients can go to the suite to drop off packages, and the law firm can receive service of process, mail and hand deliveries, whether the attorney is physically present in the office or not.
What types of lawyers are best suited for a virtual office?
A virtual office rental is a viable option for any attorney looking to keep monthly overhead costs to a minimum. In our experience, Law Firm Suites has found three types of attorneys who choose to practice with a virtual office rental:
1. Home-Based Attorneys
Home-based attorneys benefit particularly well from virtual office rentals. These attorneys need access to the amenities that a traditional office provides in order to do their jobs adequately. Features like commercial mailing addresses, reception services, and so forth may seem like small necessities, but they do so much for a solo attorney in the end. Impressing both their clients and peers alike.
2. Attorneys Starting New Practices
Beginning a new practice is a colossal feat that takes the correct resources to keep growing. Of course, money is a resource and the less one has to spend, the more advantageous a solo will be in the long run. Virtual offices take out the massive financial risk that comes with a traditional law office. Also, virtual offices that are exclusive to lawyers provide a network of legal professionals, allowing virtual tenants to gain access to referrals and practice advice that are invaluable to an attorney’s revenue flow and future.
3. Out-of-State Law Practices Seeking a Local Presence
Frequently, law firms with a main office in an adjoining state will choose a virtual office in a major urban area, like New York City, as an inexpensive alternative to maintaining a physical office in the desired location. Often, their main office has adequate staff in their home office to handle any business they have, but choose a virtual office to access new legal markets and leverage the prestige a premium commercial office address in an urban center provides.