When a lawyer or law firm is looking for office space, there are lots of considerations that have to be taken into mind. As mentioned in a previous article, location certainly matters as to law firm office space. While a lawyer or law firm should not break the bank on office space, it is important as well to get space that impresses the kinds of clients you are seeking.
There are certainly numerous other considerations as it relates to law office space. However, one consideration that many fail to consider is the amount of usable space in the office. In other words, there is always value in law office space with numerous offices. This is true even where the offices are not particularly large.
For example, some office space has spacious reception areas that might not be needed. Some office space might have large hallways that are beautiful, but might not be necessary. Some office space might have large areas setup for cubes or workstations, but will you and your lawyers like working in a cube or work station versus an office?
Certainly, if money is no object for you, and you have the budget to pay for large areas of unusable space, this might not be a concern for you. But for most lawyers and law firms, money is an issue as it relates to office space. Put simply, they want office space that is usable (and that does not unnecessarily inflate the rent).
On that note, it is important to keep in mind that most landlords charge by the square foot for office space. To calculate the monthly rent of any space, you take the actual feet of the space multiplied by the price per square foot and then you divide that by 12 (square feet x price per square foot / 12). Thus, if the space you are looking at has lots of unusable space, you might be paying more than what you would pay if you found a smaller space with more usable space.
For this reason, most lawyers or law firms ought to consider renting space that has the greatest amount of usable space possible. When you think about usable space, think about offices. Ultimately, offices equate to lawyers having a place to work. Paralegals and legal assistants can also work in offices. Put simply, the greater number of offices in the space, the greater number of employees you can typically have in the space. For most law firms, this leads to the law office space being maximized.
It might be that you can strike a deal with the landlord to have law office space retrofitted to your specific needs. However, if you do that, you ultimately pay for that by way of a longer lease term, personal guarantee, or enhanced price per square foot. You may or may not want to do that when you look for law office space.
But where you are looking for office space that already meets your needs, do not forget the value that comes with office space that has lots of offices.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.