A New Design Approach to Law Firm Space and Talent

Simple law offxsmath: the two biggest expenses in a (conventional) law firm’s budget are compensation expense and space occupancy expense. After that, there’s IT. Then there’s everything else.

And so, a new economics has come to law office design. Gensler, the International design firm, sees “profound and lasting changes taking hold of the legal industry.” accompanied by “new approaches to designing the legal workplace.”

Gensler’s Research Report, Substance over Status, declares that “economic pressures may have been the impetus for change,” but there has also been “a shift in thinking and a new approach to space and talent is required for the legal workplace to remain nimble and respond to an uncertain future.”

Gensler’s report identifies key findings and catalogues new design principles and practices that characterize the choices being made by leading firms.  Law firms are said to be coming to grips with issues that corporate America has been grappling with for years.

The guiding findings are

  1. Cost is still an issue.
  2. Legal teams are replacing individual stars.
  3. Quality of life concerns are creating multiple attorney tracks.
  4. Firms are spreading out geographically.
  5. Firms are actively seeking workplace innovation.
  6. In the U.S., the private office isn’t going anywhere … at least for now.

But to see the specific design consequences that flow from these findings, you better go look at the report.

“A new approach to space and talent.”

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