Name partner Bob Schuckit recalls that convincing him to move north was not an easy task.
“I was so wedded to the downtown law firm idea because I thought it would be better for clients,” he said. But in retrospect, “there has been no loss.”
Schuckit & Associates left Market Tower in downtown Indianapolis and purchased the building on Northwestern Drive in Zionsville, just off of U.S. 421, five years ago. Previously an insurance agency that Schuckit described as a labyrinth of 35 tiny offices — the building underwent renovation that included knocking out walls and reconfiguring the lobby area.
The new location led to a calmer, more relaxed and “dog-friendly” environment for lawyers and staff. To highlight the entrance, designers added wood floors and higher-end lighting for common areas. Windows that the building’s residents can actually open, Schuckit added, provided a refreshing change.
Wilbur, Schuckit’s family dog, greets visitors to the office most days. Water bowls are strategically located in attorney offices throughout the building, and some days the canine crew can number four or five.
“We do all sorts of business litigation here, and the dogs can help alleviate stress,” Schuckit explained.
There was an immediate cost savings to making the move, Schuckit said. The firm saves $40,000 per year in parking and $50,000 per year in rent. In a few years, he said, the firm will have the building paid off.
In addition to the 6,000 square feet that the law firm occupies, the property includes an additional 4,000 square-feet space that is leased. While the division of space is currently adequate, Schuckit knows that if the time comes when he needs more square footage for the firm, he has it.
The advent of e-filing and other legal technologies that allow law firms to serve clients remotely means work can be done from just about anywhere, Schuckit said. While initial client meetings may occur at the office, most of his firm’s work is done remotely. This, combined with a low cost of living and overhead, has allowed his firm to compete with national law firms.
The icing on the cake, he added, is the extra hour and a half that he saves commuting and can now spend with his family each day.•