Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Need for Law Space Match

“Hold on”. Two words that law students are having trouble digesting when it comes to searching for jobs. Getting into law school reflects the driven, self motivated, problem solving, and controlling aspects of a typical law student’s personality. Hard work starting from grade school, to college, to the LSAT paid off when that coveted acceptance letter finally came in the mail. So why is hard work not paying off in this economy, as employer after employer tell students to “Hold on”?
It’s no secret that this country is in a recession. As the number of law school graduates increase and the market dwindles, it is no surprise that employers are halting the hiring process. At school, the stress of finding an associate position doesn’t wait until graduation, but it has slowly started creeping in as early as the first year.
Recent emails from our school’s student services read, “Other Career Opportunities Outside the Legal Field” and “Nonprofit Volunteer Opportunities in the Area”. Recent speakers visiting the school from big firms promote the “emotional fulfillment” that volunteering provides. As the debt slowly surmounts to six figures, and the career opportunities, even for those top in the class, dwindle, it is no wonder that students break into a hot sweat every time they hear the words “Hold on”.
As a second year, Type “A” personality, for me the stress of a future job has lead to anxiety and sometimes even heart palpitations. After talking to a recent third year student, on law review and moot court, I decided that if she couldn’t get a paying job out of law school, my chances were slim to none. As a self-proclaimed tax law geek, I have recently begun considering the idea of getting an L.L.M. in tax. Not only would a master’s degree give me an edge in the mediocre job market, it would delay graduating for another year. With the economy slowly on the rise, hopefully by the time I enter the job field, there will be a position available for me. But if not, then sharing law space with other attorneys is a viable option. Atlanta law space is available.
For those future attorneys who either cringe at the idea of another year of law school, or are ready to enter the job field immediately after graduation, there is Law Space Match. Law Space Match is a way for students to network with local attorneys in the area. Not only can these attorneys provide insight and experience, but the chance to talk to attorneys in the area provides networking opportunities, contacts, job references and even job leads. The best part about Law Space Match, especially for law students, is that creating an attorney profile and initiating these contacts is free.
As more and more employers tell us students to “Hold on” until the economy gets better, Law Space Match provides a forum for us to network with local attorneys in the area interested in helping us start a rewarding career. In the past, hard work has gotten us where we want to be, when we want to be there. Although the economy will eventually turn around, and hopefully lawyers will begin to prosper financially again, students are able to connect to the local legal community through Law Space Match as the current job market forces us to “Hold on”.
Contributed by: Natalie Lynn Fears

I Need a Job!

fist.jpg
“I see all this potential, and I see squandering. . . . [D]amn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables–slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war . . . our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
–”Tyler Durden,” 1999*
“Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!” I had to say that for the Fight Club fans (great movie). Anyway, I’ve been job hunting for about four months now (procrastinators don’t get the jobs folks), and the above quote came to mind after I spent this past weekend brooding over the terrible job economy once again. I may not share the same views as Brad Pitt’s character (or was it technically Edward Norton’s character), but I’m definitely on edge about the bleak job market for attorneys.
Ok. Perhaps I’m jumping the gun, being overly dramatic, or simply being pessimistic, but my job hunt doesn’t seem to be producing a whole lot at the current time. It can quickly turn into a depressing subject when you see other law students around you already getting jobs. Tack on the great job expectation that Law Review puts on your shoulders (that’s right, yours truly is the Managing Editor of the school law review), and the lack of a job becomes even more of a burden. Sometimes you can’t help but feel like you’re failing when you’ve worked so hard and have nothing to show for it.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up hope or thrown in the towel. I’m still looking, and I know that more opportunities will become available the closer it gets to graduation. Still, there will constantly be this nagging voice in my head telling me that I should have a job by now, that I should be doing more to find a job, and that I need to work harder.
I’ll continue the job search, and I won’t give up. But, it would be nice to see some sign of potential job security in the near future. Or I may need to find law office space and think about going solo.
*Fight Club (1999), available at http://www.imdb.com/title/ tt0137523/ quotes (last visited November 10, 2010).
Contributed by Jody Sellers, a current 3L law student, who between his limited free time, writes reflective blogs offering insight into the law school experience.

Lawyers Avoid Ethical Issues While Office Sharing -Follow Proper Policy and Procedures

201593_downtown_atlanta_usa.jpgMany attorneys currently find themselves practicing law on their own after cutbacks by law firms all over the country. For these attorneys, office sharing provides distinct advantages. Solo-practitioners can improve their own branding by locating their office within an established law office. This strategy not only affords the solo-practitioner the opportunity to piggy-back off the image created by the established firm, but it also allows the attorney to reduce the costs that come with establishing a new practice. Law firms with excess space to rent benefit by sharing costs and both sides can improve revenue by offering clients a broader range of legal services under one roof.
The tough economic climate has created an opportunity for all parties. But with this opportunity comes a certain level of risk. While sharing law office space is not forbidden under ethics rules, care must be taken to avoid potential conflicts. These conflicts revolve mainly around client confidentiality. Proper signage within the offices is required, so that clients can see that the practices are independently operated. Utilizing joint letterhead or listing unaffiliated attorneys on common signs can mislead clients regarding the association between lawyers in the office space. Additionally, telephone answering services should separately handle each practice.
Fortunately, these items are easily managed. In fact, many low-tech and high-tech solutions are available to attorneys sharing space. For example, confidentiality can be ensured through the proper storage of client files. Keeping files separate and filing cabinets locked is a simple low-tech solution. Additionally, conversation with the client can be handled discretely by holding all face-to-face meetings behind closed doors, either in an individual office or a conference room. High-tech solutions can also be implemented. Electronic placards, easily updated for changes in personnel, can separately list attorneys in an office and phone systems can be customized to accommodate different users within the space. These types of simple solutions ensure that all parties follow ethical practices.
Atlanta law space sharing is a viable option for reducing costs and is efficient. Law firms are now seeking attorneys desiring shared space: “Come share our fully furnished office space in Downtown Atlanta with a great view of Peachtree Street!”, noted by a small AV-Rated Law Firm located in the well-known Candler Building. We have one large partner’s office available to sublet as well as another office with space for support staff. For instance, quality commercial office space in Downtown Atlanta can be tough to find but we’re here to help. This option is highly flexible so you can usually rent as much or as little space as you need to suit your needs.
Privacy for each subletting lawyer and for confidential information of clients may be maintained by thinking through the practicalities of your everyday law practice. Downtown Atlanta cubicle space is the workspace option for you if you want to save money on office costs.
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. This law office space and other Atlanta be veiwed at www.lawspacematch.com. Elaine M. Russell is a corporate and business attorney representing clients throughout Georgia. Elaine’s office is located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.

Law Firms React to Landlord’s Response to Lease Renewals – Declining Concessions or Renegotiation of the Lease

Resurgens staircase.jpgIn Atlanta, law firms are on the move. They are willing to pay the up-front costs to transfer the entire firm from one office location to a new leased location due to several factors. One of the factors includes the old landlord’s inability to provide incentives for beneficial lease renewal terms and for proving incentives to law firms to stay in the current space. Instead, landlords are often coming up short in providing any type of monetary tenant improvements, and managing partners are seeking law firm offices elsewhere. With the abundance of empty law offices in Atlanta, law firm are lured to seek new Atlanta law offices. Capital outlays have currently been made in the current locations while newly built commercial buildings are offering super sweet deals plus dollar for dollar tenant improvement incentives.
Just recently, the law firm of Fisher & Phillips exited from the classic Resurgens building and has landed in the new 12 & Midtown building located at the corner of Peachtree and 12th Street in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta. The facility is new, shiny and appealing to the broad based clients of Fisher & Phillips, LLP. Roger Quillen, managing partner stated, “the glut of A-plus office space offered an economic incentive we couldn’t turn down”. “The entire cost of the new space, fully built out and outfitted, was less than our expenses and rent at the old space”.
Law firms are in transition all over the City of Atlanta. Law firms are setting up and Atlanta law offices are looking closely at the term of their leases and starting negotiations with landlords. While renewal of a current lease is often a first choice, without the incentive to stay, landlords are losing law firm tenants. It appears that the earlier these managing partners are starting negotiations with landlords the more equipped the law firm is for moving if necessary. For instance, Mr. Finlayson, a managing partner at Mozley Finlayson & Loggins, LLP, a 40-person corporate-law firm in Atlanta, says on the advice of a broker he felt it was the right time to make a deal. After three months of negotiations, he secured a size-year extension at a 20% discount, plus one year of rent at half price, starting in January. Landlords, who retain large to medium sized law firms, such as Ackerman & Co., are pleased not to see a law firm exodus. “We don’t want to see tenants walk out the door, particularly big tenants who have been with us a long time,” says Frank Farrell, a senior vice president for Ackerman in Atlanta. “The costs of a renewal are probably half of what they are on a new deal.”
The bottom line is small to large law firms are seeing opportunities in the soft commercial real estate market trying to renegotiate their office lease for less money. Alternatively, law firms are moving their offices to newly built spaces often just down the street from their old location.
Resources:
Time is ripe for Negotiation
Posted March 3, 2011, Walls Street Journal
Belt-tightening benefits Fisher& Phillips
Posted February, 21 2011, The Daily Report