Virtual offices are sweeping the nation, and if you’re looking to transition from brick-and-mortar into a virtual law firm your options are expanding.
You’ve heard of WeWork and Regus but a new sector of virtual law firm providers is popping up. Boutique office space companies that cater to attorneys, and attorneys alone.
Finding a good office space provider is obviously the most important part of going virtual. Below we break down the 3 steps you should take before committing to any virtual office.
STEP 1: Take a tour!
Sure, you will be virtual, but make sure you tour the office space before you sign up for services! You may be having meetings downtown and you want a space that is beautiful, has plenty of meeting room options, and friendly staff on hand.
Luckily plenty of companies have virtual tours online of their space, so you don’t need to put aside time in your already busy schedule to complete this step.
STEP 2: Ask yourself if you will be virtual permanently
Are you scaling down as a step towards retirement? Or are you going virtual to launch your solo practice? If you plan to be virtual permanently then your job is easier. Your options are wider. But if you may need office space in the future you should make sure the provider’s offices and contracts fit your requirements.
Ask for a pricing break down on physical space and let them know you may go permanent in a year – if they are straight forward they will provide all the information you want without deflecting. And if they deflect their contracts are most likely convoluted, and you should move on in your search.
STEP 3: Interrogate your potential office space providers
The business of law demands flexibility and extensive support options. Make a list of all the needs for your law firm, and when you tour locations ask if the office provider can help support these needs.
A good provider will have paralegal support, admin support, front-desk personnel and reception services. But they may also have partners that can help with your billing/collections and court reporting. It can’t hurt to ask, and you may be surprised by the services provided.
Benefits of opening your virtual law firm with a boutique, attorney-centric office space provider
You already know the benefits of going virtual, that’s why you’re reading this article. Scaling down overhead costs. Achieving a great work/life balance. But you can receive even more benefits as a virtual law firm if you select the right office space provider.
- Extensive legal office staff: everything from law clerks to paralegals to court filings without having to hire any personnel personally
- Attorney peers in your café: networking is a vital part of any firm’s new business generation, having fellow attorneys right next door is both convenient and a huge benefit
- Industry specific events: all providers host events, and ‘bring your dog to work day’ or ‘group yoga’ sound fun but you don’t want to rearrange your schedule for these activities. A complimentary CLE with a free lunch on the other hand, is appealing, and helpful for you and your practice.
Want to read thoughts from attorneys running virtual law firms (and loving it!) before you start these steps? The American Bar Association interviewed 5 law firm leaders for their insight on being virtual attorneys.