Learn the benefits of shared law office space and why other lawyers are making the switch.
No matter if you have been practicing for 30 years or you are fresh out of law school, the office that you choose to practice out of can make a massive difference in the success of your practice.
A traditional office means you have an office all to yourself and you can set the rules, but can be very expensive. Then if you decide to rent out extra rooms to other lawyers or businesses then you have to add the role of landlord and office salesman to your daily duties in addition to the demands of your practice.
Working out of your home is another option that can work for some lawyers but has its pitfalls as well. When you work from your home you are definitely going to save money, but this type of work environment can be very lonely and this can be a huge setback for new lawyers that don’t have an established network of other lawyers to lean on for advice or referrals. Also, working from home can be a big deterrent for some clients or potential clients because working from home could give off a less-than-professional impression.
But there are other options that can help lawyers who want the large professional space that they can make their own while also catering to lawyers who are looking for a less expensive option. That option would be a shared law office space.
Shared law offices, if built and operated like a law firm, can create an environment for lawyers that can showcase their professionalism, help them to build large referral networks, lower malpractice risks all while keeping expenses down at the same time. Follow this article to learn more about why the right shared law office space is a safer and cheaper option for any lawyer.
Lower Malpractice Risk
In the process of growing a law practice, ambitious small firm practitioners constantly push the limits of their skills. It’s not uncommon to find yourself working on a case where you’re a little out of your comfort zone.
When you co-counsel with other attorneys you have the benefit of knowing what you don’t know. But perhaps the most dangerous place for an attorney to be is not knowing what you don’t know.
In a shared law office space, inevitably, you will end up chatting with a neighbor about a case you are working on, particularly if it is outside your comfort zone.
After all, using other lawyers as a sounding board is critical to successful practice, and why it’s very difficult (if not dangerous) to practice in isolation every day.
Many times those other lawyers will pick up on things you may be missing or encourage you to do more research on something before going forward.
These daily simple and everyday end up reducing your exposure to malpractice risk in a shared law office.
Lower Your Expenses
Shared spaces tend to be significantly less expensive than a standard office lease agreement. For you, that means a lower investment and less of a time commitment.
Usually, a shared law office space has about a year commitment and a much smaller deposit to secure the space. Compared to a direct-to-landlord lease, it’s a much heftier deposit and often up to a five-year commitment.
Plus, a shared office space will come with all the extra amenities you need to get work done (like internet, phones and cleaning services). All you have to do is bring in your stuff and you’re ready to go! Also, solo lawyers can get access to the office equipment and administrative staff necessary to run a law office, without the expense of carrying the cost for these items all on their own.
On the other hand, a standard commercial lease will take you a lot longer to actually move in and get working. You will likely be spending time on renovations and setting up services. You probably won’t be actually using the space and getting work done until several months after acquiring the space.
Get Referrals and Expand your Professional Network
Lawyers are smart and very informed when it comes to their practice area, but what about questions about other practice areas?
Lawyers don’t know everything and that’s okay because it opens up the chance to find an attorney within the shared space who does know and can collaborate.
A shared space exclusive to lawyers changes that by putting networking and collaborative opportunities in close proximity and for your clients, you come off as more of a full-service firm with the help of colleagues.
The key to making this happen is being selective about the other attorneys in the shared office space. If an attorney is expecting to collaborate or earn referrals in the future, he or she should make sure other attorneys in the space have complementary practice areas and that the office is social in culture.
Keep in mind that just because there are attorneys in a shared office space that could send referrals does not mean that they will. If the office space has a culture where everyone sticks to themselves behind closed, locked doors, then you’ll never have an opportunity to build the relationships required to exchange referrals.
Having a friendly and outgoing community in your shared space makes it easier and more natural to build referral relationships that are mutually beneficial.