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Starting a Law Firm | Office Space

Daily thoughts on law firm success.

Starting a Law Firm | Office Space

This post is from the first blog I started, called “How to Start a Law Firm.” Over the years I’ve moved to different sites a few times and wanted to catalog all of my content in one place. If an article refers to a link and there is no link, sorry, that’s consequence of the move. Enjoy!

I’ve already talked about office space for your law firm somewhere here before. If there is a link, that means I found it. But in any event, at some point in your journey, like mine, you have decide what kind of office arrangement you want to have for your new law firm. And the decision you make is going to depend greatly on both practical and personal factors. The practical from the standpoint of where you want to work every day, where you want to meet clients, and what your clients will expect from you. And personal in the sense that some people want to have that downtown feel while others would rather enjoy the lifestyle that can be enjoyed with a home office.

For me, the decision was very difficult. I’ve been working from home for about the last six months building my “google link juice,” among other things, and found that working from home isn’t too distracting, as long as you’ve got some space you can devote to a pseudo-office. For me, we had a bedroom we stuck a desk, office chair, and lounge chair in, and it worked pretty good. Over time I’ve found that I can motivate myself to work and not end up in front of the television all day, which is a good sign going forward, since personal motivation is very important for success here.

In the end, however, because I am a Seattle criminal lawyer and Seattle DUI attorney, I decided that a home office wouldn’t suit my practice best (and my wife agreed!). The next thing I thought about was what would be best for a new law firm, both from a strictly financial, and a work space point of view. I decided to start looking for office space downtown, near the courthouse, and with a firm that had offices for lease, which provides a little bit of camaraderie and a sounding board when I have questions. And I just like the idea of going into an office everyday. It feels cool.

And the space I ended up taking ended up paying financial dividends immediately too. The firm is primarily a criminal defense firm, and they just had a couple of people leave, leaving them very shorthanded. I worked out a deal with them where I perform the majority of their coverage work (when someone is double booked) at $50/hour. Last week, before I even moved into the office I logged 10 hours of conflict work, nearly paying my entire month’s rent! Be on the lookout for creative office arrangements like this, where you can get the space you want at the price you want and maybe even get a little bit of work out of it!

Just to refresh, I’ve already talked about several items for starting a law firm, including:

legal malpractice insurance;

online legal research; and

business licenses.

Also, I know there are a lot of you here reading this blog. What do you think about what I’m saying? Am I missing anything? What have your experiences been like? What else would you like to know about?

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