Law Office Design in 2019
There’s been a design revolution in office workspace for the past decade. Gone are old-fashioned cubicles, formal conference rooms, bland colors and old-fashioned storage options. But has this revolution had any impact on the legal industry? After all, law firms are supposed to reflect Old World traditions and values, right?
Not so much anymore. Yes, most attorneys will still have a private office. After all, what is discussed with an attorney should remain behind closed doors. But at Desks, Incorporated in Denver, CO, we’re seeing the use of configurable furniture and integrated technology that accommodates in-person and virtual collaboration. We’re also seeing more casual areas in legal offices that provide spaces to support chance encounters in the office.
Many law firms are creating more satellite “working” offices to support their big city “showcase” offices. Unlike the stately furnishings found in law firm headquarters, satellite office design is more about functionality for attorneys and support staff. And because attorneys may travel between law offices, these offices must be able to accommodate more visitors and their technology. Attorneys have to be able to work from anywhere and be connected.
The commercial real estate industry reports that law firms across the country are reducing their footprint when renegotiating leases or relocating. No longer are partners and senior attorneys enjoying larger offices with private conference rooms attached. There’s an industry-wide conversion to smaller, single-size offices for partners and associates alike. Plus, with the legal industry moving to paperless workspaces, there isn’t as much need for file cabinets and traditional firm libraries.
Recruitment of key talent is always important to law firms. By 2025, more than 50% of U.S. attorneys will be Millennials. In order to attract these younger attorneys law firms must embrace open and collaborative environments, flexible meeting spaces, more contemporary color schemes and even “hoteling” stations (desks not assigned to a particular employee.)
If you are updating your law office or opening a new one, the design experts at Desks, Incorporated in Denver can help you find the balance between the tried-and-true and what’s new. Together, we can create an office environment that works for your law firm, your attorneys and your clients.