Law firms are using the pandemic to get money from their office space. There is plenty of room in the offices and people are not using as many legal services. Since these buildings are sitting empty law firms are subletting out this space. Some of the legal services can be conducted over Zoom so lawyers are now working from various locations.
Law firms all around the United States are reducing their office space and looking at the needs for this space. Many firms realize they do not need as much space so they are downsizing.
Law firms in New York, Chicago, and other major cities are enlisting the help of real estate services to rent out their office space. The pandemic has started this trend and it is helping law firms recover some of their lost income.
Lawyers and other firm personnel are not working in their space in the building due to the pandemic. This is leaving a lot of open space. These spaces are on the market for subleases. The firms that had offices in Midtown Manhattan which is a highly desired area are renting out their space. The amount of space is going for around half of the normal rent price.
Many firms are taking advantage of this and they are looking at their lease. They are thinking about the space that they need and they are using the pandemic as an opportunity to rent out some space they are not using. This extra space is the result of social distancing.
The law firms have been making adjustments to their lease such as asking for less space and even the five leading firms are asking for less space in New York City.
Law firms are also not renewing their leases and they are not leasing out more space. Three big law firms in the Los Angeles area looking to sublet around 25,000 square feet of their office space. There are firms all over the country that are renting out large portions of their office.
In Chicago, there are 37 firms that are downtown that are downsizing and renting out space. Even in Washington D.C., there are over 500,000 square feet of office space that was once dedicated to law firms.
Many companies are subletting their space besides law firms. Banks, insurance companies, and others are reducing the size of their office space.
Landlords are allowing the sublease and they are also looking to reduce the lease contract for s shorter term due to the pandemic. Law firms are watching what other companies do and will see how they are responding to the changes in their workplace. Some are allowed to work from home to have a better life and work balance. The future will tell if the reduction in office space is a good thing for law practices. Bill Umansky, an Orlando criminal defense lawyer, says that he downsized and is never going back. “As long as our work doesn’t suffer, that’s all the matters, and we’ve been doing just fine.
People are still going to need the services of lawyers. There have not been job losses in the legal field. Law offices have needed less space for years. Instead of paper records, there are electronic records. This will reduce the need for storage space for these records. Keeping them on the computer eliminates the space for all of these files. Lawyers also do not need as much working space. All they need is a place to set up a computer. Offices sizes have been reduced.
For law firms have been noticing they do not need as much physical space for a long time the pandemic is pushing the crease along. Some of the employees are working remotely while others are working on alternate schedules. If things keep on with this trend there are going to be smaller and shared offices. While many firms are still going to have a physical location there is not as much space needed for the firms. Even the top firms are decreasing the space that they need and are looking for ways to work around the pandemic.
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