Making the decision to hang your shingle as a solo attorney can be challenging from both a financial and logistical perspective. When you are a new solo attorney, you must make quite a few difficult decisions on both how and where you will operate your business.
One of the most significant decisions you must make as a solo attorney is where you will run your law firm. With regard to office space, Some of the most significant concerns of a solo attorney include:
- Where will client meetings take place if a professional office space does not exist?
- Where will you keep your client files and office equipment if you do not have a designated office location?
- Will clients take you seriously if you request meetings at a local library, at a coffee shop, or in any other non-professional setting?
- How will you pay the rent on an office if you are a new solo attorney on a tight budget?
- Will you feel isolated if you have a small office space in an obscure location?
- Is a home office viable for you?
Sharing an Office With Other Solo Attorneys
One of the most common options that solo attorneys consider when deciding on an office location is the possibility of sharing a space with one more other solo attorneys. In many situations, sharing an office can be an excellent choice. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons, including the following:
Possible Pros (benefits) of sharing an office:
- When you share an office with other solo attorneys, you have professional peers nearby who can provide you with guidance if you need it.
- Sharing an office space is typically less expensive than paying for an office on your own. The shared cost can make office space affordable.
- If you share an office with other solo attorneys that specialize in various areas of law, you can refer clients to each other.
- When you share an office with other solo attorneys, you will not feel as isolated as you might in an at-home office.
- Sharing an office with other solo attorneys will give your solo law practice more visibility.
- You might be able to share a legal assistant, paralegal, or office manager with one or more other attorneys in your shared office space.
Possible Cons (challenges) of sharing an office:
- It’s possible that you won’t enjoy the company of your officemates. It can be difficult to avoid interacting with people with whom you share an office.
- A shared office might not offer you the type of quiet environment you are seeking. Depending on the number of attorneys sharing your office, there might be a constant stream of clients coming and going, with a lot of noisy activity that is not beneficial to your work style.
- After a period of time, your officemates might want to move to a bigger, smaller, or different office. You might eventually be forced to move to another location or risk losing your office sharing spot with the group.
If you are considering sharing an office with other solo attorneys, make sure to evaluate all of the details of your potential office sharing arrangement. You want to make good decisions on who will make excellent officemates. It’s important to also consider the space you will be provided within the office. Working out potential issues in advance is always recommended and can be important in ensuring that your office sharing experience is successful.