5 Things to Consider When Furnishing Legal Offices
Find the Best Law Office Furniture
When furnishing a legal office space, it’s important to think about the future of a firm and each roles needs is important. According to the Steelcase whitepaper “A Legal Brief,” turnover rates and downsizing office space are two of the biggest challenges the legal industry currently faces. The need for flexible furniture has become an important staple for legal offices as they face these issues. Here are some considerations for when you plan on furnishing your office.
1) Collaborative & Individual Space in Private Offices
The need for collaboration within legal offices has grown tremendously. Within partner offices, there is a need for a desk that can be used for both private work, yet can also work for collaboration between partners and their associates as they work together on cases. The Steelcase Impact Modular Desk System offers multiple add-on components to adapt to both teamwork and individual efforts for executive office layouts.
2) Support Staff
The line between legal secretaries and other personnel has blurred. Retaining your support staff is crucial as they are a main ingredient in the bridge between clients and your partners/associates. For staff like secretaries and legal technology specialists, a flexible and an adaptable workspace is a must-have. For example, HON’s 10700 series offers two solutions for support staff. The teamwork solution can be easily configured for any staff changes or reorganization. The other option is a reception desk that’s ideal for secretaries or other administrative staff.
3) Privacy for Client-Focused Spaces
The impression you leave your clients starts with areas like lobbies and secure meeting areas. Although legal office spaces are shrinking in size, there is more demand for client-facing spaces and small meeting spaces close to the lobby. This prevents clients from entering hectic areas with staff. While many multinational firms are using conference call technology to meet with clients, there’s still a need for comfortable spaces for clients should they need to meet face-to-face. These spaces can also be used for meetings with remote employees as well.
4) Colors and Fabrics
Many legal offices tend to look towards traditional pieces that will appeal to their clients. Some offices are now leaning towards lighter wood finishes and implementing colors that still convey a sense of security and trust, like green or blue. Should you decide to incorporate artwork, make sure it is professional and that the artwork does not stand out too much. You can also incorporate an area rug to create a more inviting setting.
5) Space For Efficient Filing
Physical files play an important role in legal offices. Partners like to create different “zones” on their desks dedicated to different tasks and their status. As a case progresses closer towards being closed, the paperwork associated with it moves away from the center of the desk.
While some legal firms are transitioning to cloud based storage for cases, others still rely heavily on Legal Paper. This requires special furniture that can accommodate 14” paper, along with larger manila folders, hanging files. Plan to have three different storage areas for active, anticipated, and archived cases.
Want to learn more? Download our free guide for even more information on furnishing a legal office.