The Rise of Coworking Spaces in the Legal Industry
As technology continues to be a part of how many industries operate and flourish, the workspace landscape is continuously evolving. The digital age has allowed many tasks and processes to be done online. As a result, many companies have been venturing into virtual employment, and the legal industry is one of them. Many law firms nowadays employ virtual legal assistants or paralegals that do remote work as individual contractors. At the same time, some lawyers have also opted against working for firms and instead have chosen to practice law independently. For these legal industry professionals, coworking spaces are the go-to places to do their work. While being a virtual legal assistant or an independent lawyer lets them work from the comfort of their home and manage their own time, it makes it hard to achieve a work-life balance. Coworking spaces address this issue by serving as physical places for these types of professionals to better delineate work from life as well as provide them with benefits that help them be more productive.
Attorneys and paralegals in coworking spaces
While most coworking spaces are open to multiple professions, others that cater to specific fields or professions are also on the rise. This is perhaps due to the fact that such places allow professionals to network and build meaningful relationships, which is crucial, especially in the legal industry where most clients come from referrals. But coworking spaces don’t just offer a physical space to work—in some cases, they’ve been found to boost productivity too. Harvard Business Review’s study found that people who work in coworking spaces reported productivity levels averaging at 6 on a 7-point scale. According to the study, professionals in coworking spaces are able to become more productive because they have greater control over their work, as well as enjoy the feeling of being in a community without having to deal with too much office politics.
Additionally, these spaces also induce creativity that works best for the new generation of workers, as mentioned in our post on ‘7 Reasons Why Corporates are Getting Inclined Towards Coworking’. Most coworking spaces have both the elements of a traditional office space as well as parts that encourage collaborative and innovative work. For attorneys and paralegals who review and handle multiple cases at a time, it is essential to have a space that will help them see cases from different perspectives, which in turn will allow them to better serve their clients.
Interested in drawing more lawyers to your coworking space? Here’s a quick rundown of what they usually look for:
It goes without saying that location is of the utmost importance. For professionals in the legal industry, proximity to their place of residence isn’t the only consideration; instead, they also consider how near it is to the courthouse and other frequented offices. Another consideration would be how accessible the place is for incoming clients. A lawyer’s work or someone in the legal industry often requires constant communication and meetings with clients, so it will be beneficial to work in a co-working space that’s easy to find and accessible to new and old clients alike.
Attorney At Work notes that it is especially important for professionals in the legal industry to be in a coworking space that allows for truly private conversations. As already mentioned, the profession entails working closely with clients, and sensitive topics and information are exchanged during these meetings. Lawyers need to be able to put their clients at ease about privacy and confidentiality during consultations, so coworking spaces that offer private office spaces for phone calls or face-to-face meetings are better choices for them.
Amenities and services
No matter what the industry, maximum productivity can be more easily achieved if everything needed is nearby or easily accessibly. Coworking spaces that want to appeal to lawyers should have amenities that are specifically designed to make their lives easier. Besides offering the staple unlimited coffee and copy services, for example, you may want to consider offering paralegal services, which Special Counsel describes as an essential part of the legal process, as working with them has often been found to increase the efficiency and the cost-effective delivery of legal services. Some of the responsibilities of a paralegal include maintaining and organizing files, drafting documents, and conducting legal research. Any coworking space that provides these services is sure to appeal to lawyers, as these would allow them to have more time for entertaining more clients and to focus more on growing their firm and broadening their networks.
A good internet connection
While it is true that the internet is almost everywhere, a bigger consideration should be placed on the speed and stability of your coworking space’s internet connection, as noted by The Medium. Remote work relies on the fact that work can be done and sent out or submitted through the internet, and an unstable connection in a coworking space is sure to make it hard to succeed in any industry. This is doubly true for lawyers, whose work is often time-sensitive and involves numerous phone calls to be placed to people across the state, country, or even globe. In addition, the legal industry has also been seeing the rise of cloud computing when it comes to managing client data. A stable connection will not only allow lawyers to store client information in secure cloud-based programs immediately but also help them access the necessary data through just a few clicks.
As a professional in this age of fast-evolving technology, lawyers often look for a workplace that addresses the current realities of the modern world and encourage a healthy working environment conducive for increased productivity. Browse through some of our other posts to learn more about coworking spaces that have successfully attracted lawyers and other legal industry professionals to their premises.