Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Best Practice tip of the week: Feasibility of home and virtual offices

Asked and Answered By John Olmstead Q. I am a solo attorney in private practice. I have been practicing for two years. The bulk of my practice is in the wills, trusts and estates area. I occasionally handle real estate transactions as well. I work from a home in office and meet clients in their homes at night. I have given thought about moving to an office outside the home, but even if I did I think I would still end up meeting clients in their homes at night. My clients seem to really appreciate this and as a result I have yet to walk away from a potential client's home without a signed retainer agreement. What are your thoughts on home offices? A. Sounds like working from home has worked well for your practice and it has caused you  to deliver personal attention to your clients which is so necessary in your practice area. I opened my consulting practice 25 years ago and had the overhead of an office and staff from day one. So much has changed since then. Now I have both - a small office in St. Louis and home offices that the rest of us work from remotely - less staff - and less space. We have downsized our office dramatically over the years and now primarily use it for client meetings/presentations when needed. Our infrastructure - phone systems, files, copiers, file servers, and people are primarily housed out of remote home offices. More and more of our work is being delivered remotely/virtually using GoToMeeting and other such tools. Take a hard look at your purpose and cost for the office and then go from there. Also, consider that sometimes we have to spend money to make money. Does the increased visibility that the office may give you generate more revenue than its cost? Also, as you get busier and need to boost up infrastructure - staff, systems, etc. - you may need a place to house the infrastructure. If you just need a place for client meetings occasionally you might be better off having a virtual office suite arrangement where you pay and use a space as needed with some of the companies that provide such as service. If you have a Regus in your area - you might look into that option. Click here to visit the Regus Web site. John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC, is a past chair and member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics. For more information on law office management, please direct questions to the ISBA General ListServ, which John and other committee members review, or view archived copies of The Bottom Line Newsletters. John may be contacted via e-mail at jolmstead@olmsteadassoc.com.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 by Chris Bonjean | Comments (0)
Filed under

Topic:

ISBA Members login to post comments