For estate planning attorney Michael Milliman, this is a busy time of the month. He takes a four-hour train ride, leaving his Michigan-based law firm (DeLoof, Dever, Eby, Wright, Milliman, Bourque & Issa, PLLC) for a few days, to serve his clients in Chicago. It’s only a short walk from the train before he arrives at his satellite office in the heart of the downtown area.
His days in the Loop are filled with client meetings, a total of 15 over the next 72 hours. When he finishes the first day of meetings, he’ll take another short walk and retire to a nearby hotel. The next day, he’ll do it all over again.
“It keeps me efficient,” he said about his schedule. “I love the fast pace of being in the Loop.”
Milliman has spent his nearly 20-year career in Michigan, but he has always considered Chicago a great second home. Several years ago, he became licensed to practice law in Illinois and began establishing a client base. While most of his work can be done virtually, he prefers a physical office, especially for maintaining client relationships. In 2019, he opened a satellite office with Amata Law Office Suites, Chicago’s first legal community of more than 700 attorneys and six Class-A downtown offices.
“I want my clients to always have a local connection to their attorney,” he said.
Fellow Amata-based lawyer, Ken Fiedler of Ken Fiedler Injury Law, echoed Milliman’s thoughts. Fiedler began his career in Chicago before moving and practicing in Colorado. He developed many connections during his time in the Windy City and always planned to resume a physical presence.
“Chicago is a great place to practice law,” he said, noting the large yet close-knit legal community. “I’ll always consider it home.”
Yet opening a satellite office in a new city can be difficult. According to Law.com, firms typically allocate around 300 square feet of office space per employee. That comes to a minimum of $14,000 for one attorney in downtown Chicago, as the average cost of Class-A office space is $48 per square foot.
To circumvent these issues and better focus on their practices, Milliman and Fiedler chose Amata. In addition to physical and virtual offices, Amata offers live reception services and an experienced legal support team.
“It’s a really economical choice for any firm that wants a presence in a large city, where it has historically been expensive to open a brick-and-mortar office,” Milliman said.
He praises Amata’s “fantastic” paralegal team, which boasts 110 years of combined work experience. He says they copy and scan documents among other tasks that he simply doesn’t have time to manage himself. Specifically, the on-staff notary is one of his favorite Amata offerings.
“It’s a huge, huge convenience for me,” Milliman said. “I never have to worry about scheduling on my notary’s availability and it’s cost-effective. When you bring a mobile notary to your office, they charge for travel.”
Fiedler appreciates Amata’s professional environment and the proximity of his office to the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once COVID-19 restrictions are further lifted, he looks forward to traveling to Chicago and meeting his clients at least one week per month.
Fiedler and Milliman aren’t the only ones taking advantage of Amata’s flexible office options. Amata also caters to Chicago-based attorneys who do business in other states.
Personal injury lawyer Sean Park of The Park Law Firm came to Amata after practicing in Georgia, where he still holds a license. He continues to virtually serve clients in Atlanta. He utilizes Amata’s live reception services and says Atlanta callers don’t necessarily know that he’s located in Chicago or frequently traveling. He attributes that to the professionalism of Amata’s receptionists, who keep him feeling grounded even when he’s working from different states.
“I hope Amata expands into other areas,” he said. “If they opened in Atlanta at some point, they would have my continued business.”
Expand your practice smoothly. Chicago is home to burgeoning startups and leading companies in various industries, making it a prime location for advising clients. With Amata’s investment in technology and support services, attorneys can feel supported anywhere.
Whether you’re based on the East Coast, West Coast or Third Coast in Chicago, call us or visit our website and take an online or in-person tour of one of our six Class-A law firm office spaces to learn how our legal support and live reception services can help you establish a presence in any city in which you desire to work.