What is the future of the legal virtual office in NYC?
As technology continues to improve and virtual practice become more accepted by law firms and their clients, the legal profession will see firms adopting bits and pieces of virtual practice on an ever-increasing basis. Firms of tomorrow will borrow best practices developed by virtual law practice pioneers, spawning hybrid firms designed to meet professional needs and client demand.
Aspiring start-up firms
Lawyers starting practices on a shoestring budget will do so increasingly with a virtual office, foregoing the expense of a traditional office space (at least initially). The merits of this decision are subject to debate but, nevertheless, many attorneys choose a virtual office as a launchpad into a permanent office rental once they can afford it.
Firms seeking revenue in new cities
Non-lawyer legal form companies continue to eat up market share for low-end legal work and an increasing number of law firms will be competing for the more sophisticated legal work that remains. Forward thinking firms will seek profits by concentrating their practices on niches of niches, and will look to grow revenue by expanding into new cities. With 10 million potential clients, NYC is a prime place to expand. But given the high cost of real estate, getting traditional office space to test a NYC practice is too much risk for most firms to absorb. Firms will look to create a “local” presence using a virtual office in NYC. By doing so, they create economies of scale by keeping staff in their “home office” and minimize risk with a virtual office’s low cost and commitment.
Firms whose clients demand greater convenience
The easiest way to increase revenue is to do more business with existing clients (and their referrals). Customer service orientated law firms with a main office in suburban cities are opening offices in urban centers where many of their client work. This gives clients the convenience to conduct business with their attorney on a business day without having to take large blocks of time off from work. It also opens the door to getting referrals to the client’s coworkers, who may live in a different suburban city than the lawyer’s main office, but would work with the lawyer in NYC. Firms leverage the on-site staff of the virtual office operator to help them with the logistics of running their satellite office, with minimal expense.
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