Yes, that is really finally happening, found real estate brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle in a survey, reports AMERICAN LAW DAILY. With the exception of law firms whose practices deal in boom fields like energy or high tech, more and more are finding ways to shrink the amount of square footage they lease, as well lower the price per square foot when renegoitating the lease.
There are a number of best practices which are emerging. For example, they can function with less real estate costs in high priced metro areas by relocating back office operations to lower priced ones. Also some firms are adopting the model of the open workspace, with few or none having a private office. Not only does that eliminate the need for so much square footage. That could also allow for cross-pollination of ideas across all levels in the firm.
Another tactic, explained Sherry Boyd in an exclusive interview with Law and More (here you can read that), is storing documents offsite. An account executive with William B. Meyer, Boyd itemized the low cost for secure storage. In addition, lawyers have easy, rapid access to those files they need. Here are some of the details of William B. Meyer's record retention services.
On October 12, 2012, Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith, Esq. outlined a dark scenario for most of the legal sector in an interview with BLOOMBERG LAW. He noted that the second half of 2012 has not been good. Unless law firms radically change their business model to reduce expenses, there will likely be more bankruptcies. If MacEwen is on the money, then we can anticipate even more attention paid to how much square footage is leased and at what cost. Fans of "The Good Wife" will recall that space rented became a major issue when the law firm fell on hard times.