For lawyers, having a workspace that is both private and professional is paramount to business success and client privacy. Enter coworking spaces. While lawyers have traditionally huddled together in practices under brick and mortar roofs, coworking spaces can offer lawyers seeking to build their practices a similar advantage for a fraction of the price and overhead costs while maintaining their professionalism.
For example, lawyers fresh out of law school who don’t have so much disposable income can choose to rent a coworking space in urban areas. This gives them the advantage of splitting costs which could have otherwise been high if they had to pay on their own or purchase a long-term lease with other attorneys.
Over the past decade, the coworking industry has grown to over 5,000 coworking spaces in 2019 helping placed an estimated 754,000 entrepreneurs into viable coworking spaces, says a study by the Global Coworking Unconference Conference and Emergent Research.
If you’re a lawyer on the fence about coworking, here are some quick and easy tips for taking advantage of coworking spaces as you grow your budding—established—law firm.
- You’ll get to choose the space. Unlike office spaces, coworking spaces allow you to control the size of your office. Just as you would want to choose a comfortable office space, accommodating, and professional-looking for you, you should also bear in mind to pick a space that will be of advantage to your business and clients. This means the coworking space you choose is easily accessible for your clients, has ample parking, offers private office spaces, and allows you access after normal business hours.
- In some cases, you can get closer to the courthouse. You’ll also want to consider your proximity to the courthouse. Having a law firm that’s within walking distance or a short drive from the courthouse will give you an advantage over other lawyers. You’ll be able to meet quickly and privately with clients before and after court and filing motions will be far easier if you’re just a stone’s throw away.
- You’ll have more control over your time. You’ll also be able to have more control over your schedule when you choose a coworking space. Many coworking spaces offer plans that allow you to have keyholder access. This permits you to work the hours you choose when you choose, be it earlier in the morning, later at night, or into the weekend.
- You’ll have access to amenities. Coworking spaces also give you access to amenities, such as the conference room which will be at your disposal, where you can spread out to work on a case or work with several people or other legal professionals on casework. You can also hold depositions and mediations from a coworking conference room.
Other amenities include access to wi-fi, fax machines, telephones, and VoIP teleconferencing phones, and in some cases sound studios (for media-savvy lawyers who host webinars and podcasts).
- Your space is furnished. Coworking spaces also come fully furnished and complete with standard office supplies you’d normally have to purchase on your own (i.e., kitchen appliances, coffee, water, snacks, microwaves, etc.).
- You’ll gain valuable networking opportunities. Lawyers will also find networking opportunities while using coworking spaces. Whether it’s those you share the coworking space with, people they refer you to, or those you meet at events held by the coworking space, there will no shortage of opportunities to meet new people and gain new clients.
While there are some things you have to consider, such as being vigilant in protecting your clients’ privacy (don’t forget to keep your computer locked and the fax cleared off when you finish using it), coworking for lawyers is advantageous and economical. Finding a coworking space where you know you won’t have to struggle to get cases or a place where they have all the amenities and services you require to work efficiently are things you won’t want to overlook. Following through with these simple tips will put you and your law business at an advantage.