Is having an office unnecessary?

April 12, 2013
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An interesting debate has popped up online recently as to whether attorneys still need brick-and-mortar offices.

The ABA Journal reports that at the ABA Techshow last week, Mycase co-founder Matt Spiegel said, “The office is dead.” He went on to say that forcing clients to meet you in your office will lead to failure.

The ABA Journal also highlights two blog posts in defense of the physical office location, pointing out the lack of privacy when meeting at a coffee shop or restaurant.

I’m on Team Brick-and-Mortar Office. If I have to discuss sensitive topics or confidential information, why would I want to do that surrounded by other people? What happens if I run into a co-worker or friend? How do I explain what I’m doing or who I’m with?

The only positives I see with meeting clients at public place is the attorney saves money on rent (if you completely forego having an office location) and the restaurant may be a more convenient location than the attorney’s office or home.

Has anyone given up his/her physical office space in favor of meeting in public places? How often do you conduct meetings with clients over coffee or lunch?
 

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  • Is having an Office necessary?
    I work out of my home. I do meet with clients in person but SKYPE and similar technology make those times fewer. if I need privacy or more importantly quiet, I have an arrangement with my old firm to use their conference room-or, meet with the client at their offices. Otherwise, there are public places where you can have some privacy (except for the ever increasing cameras!)

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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