Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location, location, location! Location is everything when it comes to real estate. Location is everything especially when it comes to commercial real estate, and this includes law offices. Lawyers have many options when becoming sole practitioners and opening a new office. Each space and location provide amenities and conveniences both with associated advantages and disadvantages.

Lawyers starting a new practice must be sure to examine the written lease for each space option and understand clearly what they are receiving and what they are not receiving. It is always a good idea for new practitioners to compare various leases to ensure they are getting the maximum for their dollar. Leases of conventional space, for example, are generally for three- to five-year terms, which represents a long-term financial commitment, especially for attorneys who are just starting a law practice.

The most important provisions of a lease may be those which explain under what circumstances the lease may be terminated by either party. On one hand, lawyers must use their acquired expertise, but, on the other, they should not rely on this fact. They should talk to anyone, whether an attorney or not, who may offer valuable advice on the subject. Lawyers must allow sufficient time to negotiate all the terms of a lease agreement to ensure that it fully fits their needs.

Generally, conventional space is leased directly from the owner of a building, generally in the form of some business association, who will generally require a minimum of a three- to five-year commitment to lease the office space. The owner will typically retain a broker to market the space and negotiate the terms of the lease. The space may require tenant improvements to make it fully functional to suit the needs of the practice.

One primary benefit of conventional office space is that it helps establish a definite firm identity. Often, the style and values of a law firm are reflected in its location, office space, furnishings, ambiance, and even personnel. This type of traditional space should provide enough room to house office equipment, store files, accommodate personnel, and meet conference room requirements. It should also allow for flexibility and growth to meet the firm’s needs as they evolve.

Depending on a lawyer’s financial situation, the most important factor in choosing a conventional space may be the cost of investing personal funds in purchasing, developing, and maintaining the space. While some tenant improvements may be paid for by the lessor, the majority of the improvements may require the attorney as lessee to pay either upfront or amortized through the duration of the tenancy by an increased rental payment.

A lease is an obligation that must be paid regardless of the financial success of the business enterprise. Lawyers starting their own practices must prepare to invest a substantial amount of time to locate the “perfect” space, negotiate the lease, coordinate tenant improvements, pay personnel, purchase equipment while attending to and meeting the independent and personal needs of the office.

The California Desert Trial Academy focuses on providing an academic experience that emphasizes a practical approach to becoming a lawyer. We believe this is the most efficient and expedient pathway to a successful and rewarding legal career. At CDTA, we train, educate, and develop students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.


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