Unexpected Benefits Come From Office Sharing

Attorneys – as Landlords or Tenants

The advantages of attorneys sharing office space are many. In fact, sharing office space can provide many unexpected benefits to both the law firm and the tenant. Ever since tough economic times hit in 2008, many law firms have downsized their staff, but continue to own or lease the same size office space. The result is an underutilization of space that translates to decreased revenue.
By renting out vacant space to solo law practitioners, law firms can not only generate extra income, but also benefit from the natural synergies created by this arrangement. The benefit that is immediately obvious is the income generated from the rent of the actual office space. When deciding on a figure, it is important to include overhead. Common expenses include maintaining support personnel (for example, a receptionist, secretarial staff or an accountant), as well as providing a phone system and maintaining office equipment. The cost of filing clerks and other administration staff also can be defrayed by bringing in a solo-practitioner.
But beyond the pure dollars and cents of a landlord-tenant arrangement, there are other benefits to sharing office space. Even when the practice areas of the law firm’s attorneys and the tenant are not identical, frequent discussions between attorneys can keep creativity and ideas flowing. For the solo-practitioner, renting space in an established law firm can help stave off the negative effects of isolation. Daily contact with other lawyers can provide a valuable opportunity to network and can help the solo-practitioner keep on top of changes in the law. Ultimately, clients from both sides of the landlord-tenant relationship may benefit from a wider array of legal services.
In 2010, Elaine M. Russell created www.LawSpaceMatch.com, a service that matches lawyers seeking to sublet space with unoccupied office space at compatible law firms around the country. Elaine M. Russell is a corporate and business attorney representing clients throughout Georgia. Elaine’s office is located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.