Law Firm Office Leasing Rebounds: Implications for Shared Legal Office Spaces
In the first quarter of 2023, U.S. law firm leasing activity witnessed its strongest resurgence since the pre-pandemic era. Market data revealed a notable 45% increase in legal sector leases over 20,000 square feet, from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023. Simultaneously, the concept of shared office spaces for attorneys within unrelated law firms has been gaining traction, fueled by the shift towards flexible and hybrid work models.
Law Firms Riding the Leasing Wave
Law firms are currently navigating the wave of leasing activity. For instance, leasing volume for spaces over 10,000 square feet during Q1 2023 outpaced any prior recorded Q1. But instead of leveraging the benefits of reduced office schedules, law firms have found themselves maintaining five-day offices only partially utilized. The situation thus creates the paradoxical predicament of law firms incurring expenses for spaces that often turn into vacant villages on certain days. We're seeing many mid size firms with substantially vacant space more than half of the time. This should present an opportunity for small and solo practices to find new "Host" firms for space - but more often than not the mid-size law firms quote confidentiality issues as the reason for not renting vacant space to outside attorneys.
The solution to this problem would be to physically segregate a discrete amount of space from the law firm's occupied area. Use this separate space to provide office sublets for attorneys not affiliated with the firm - and "bank" that space for future expansion. Of course, during the sublet term it is likely that a properly run sublet will generate a profit for the sublessor, especially if the two spaces can share the primary receptionist.
Shared Legal Office Spaces - The Hybrid Solution
In this context, the hybrid office model provides a compelling solution, giving rise to the concept of hoteling. This approach allows law firms to embrace smaller, fully utilized spaces, thereby reducing overhead costs. Additionally, it fosters flexibility for associates, an aspect they value highly in this new era of work.
Lawyers looking for office space within other firms can leverage this model, while law firms with surplus spaces can attract potential sublessees. Key amenities such as reception and mail services, conference rooms, IT systems, and Wi-Fi, among others, are often included in these arrangements, creating an attractive proposition for sublessees.
Furthermore, this model cultivates a convivial work environment and opens possibilities for overflow business, offering mutual benefits to both the main law firm and the sublessees.
Here are two example listings on LookingForSpace.com that exemplify these opportunities: Click on either listing for more photos, long descriptions, highlights - and contact data for more information or to arrange a tour.
LookingForSpace.com stands as an innovative platform in this scenario, bridging the gap between available individual offices and attorneys seeking space within a shared legal office arrangement. Founded by Neal Lerner, a seasoned Manhattan Tenant Representative Broker, the platform revolutionizes the process of discovering and leasing shared office spaces for small law firms and solo practices.
LookingForSpace.com - Bridging the Gap
Over the last 10 years we have received many Kudos and Testimonials from both Small and Solo practices that found the perfect space by using our service. We also have tons of Testimonials from law firms that have successfully and efficiently employed the tools offered by our website to sublease what otherwise was fallow space.
Designed specifically for attorneys, LookingForSpace.com is equipped with professional tools that enable legal tenants to lease extra offices independently, with no intermediaries in the process.
The platform goes a step further with the Offices Wanted section, an innovative feature that facilitates reverse listings. Attorneys can advertise their specific office space requirements, streamlining property searches and negotiations. It essentially fosters a transparent, tenant-centric market that saves time and effort for both attorneys and property owners.