The realm of law firm design has its own rules, traditions, and language.
IA Interior Architects and New York legal business consulting firm SB2 look at the metrics impacting successful law firms and their built environments. ...continued.
By Erik Hodgetts, AIA, LEED AP | Project Director
November 7, 2017
Let’s face it – who among us likes, much less embraces change? Countless quotes remind us that it is the only constant in life, and yet it is not always welcome – especially in the workplace. Not immune from the changes taking place all around us, the modern law office is experiencing transformation that reflects design trends seen in the broader world of commercial interior design. Recently, I was fortunate enough to present at the New York City chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) annual Symposium as part of a panel of peers discussing the latest directions in legal office design and furnishings. The wide-ranging conversation that took place reinforced concepts and ideas that I have observed playing out elsewhere across the industry.
Law offices have notoriously been slower to adapt and reluctant to embrace modern shifts in workplace design. As other businesses have followed the lead of the tech industry towards flexible and more casual open office environments, legal space design has taken a more cautious path towards only those elements that meet the particular needs of attorneys. While the nature of work being performed at law offices continues to require space that allows confidentiality and the ability to focus, here are some of the key factors driving progressive change in this sector:
My own insights on space use and design for this ALA event were accompanied by those of expert colleagues in related fields. Rosemary Farrell of Arenson served as moderator of our panel discussion as well as providing insight on how furniture can best support lawyers’ evolving needs. Craig Caggiano of Colliers gave an in-depth analysis of legal office leasing patterns in NYC, and Richard Colucci of Distinctive Offices showed how firms that choose to refurbish their existing spaces can take advantage of the latest trends. Together, we fielded a lively series of questions from interested legal staff of both large and small firms, and helped to spread the word that proactively planning for change can be the best way to smooth your path forward.
See how IA applied these factors in the design of Atlanta-based law firm, Troutman Sanders. Click below to view the project file.
Say hello to the law firm design of the future!
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