Small law

Law Firms Moving to Smaller Energy Efficient Offices
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Summary: Reducing costs are the goal of any company but for law firms that are in the big cities like New York where real estate costs are extreme, it is a necessity plus promotes more collaboration between employees.

Real estate is expensive, especially in places like New York or San Francisco. Law firms are taking note of that and cutting back on their office sizes or remodeling to become more energy efficient.


The trend for more modern offices has taken a while to get a firm grasp but now more firms are catching on and making the change. Several known law firms such as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and White & Case have moved into either smaller or more efficient office spaces.

Ted Rotante, an executive managing director at Colliers International predicts that the only law firms that will be increasing their square footage will be those that acquire new law firms. Rotante goes on to explain the trend that law firms are following, “What they are doing is going floor to floor and rebuilding their space. The general trend is to take less space and improve your efficiency.”

The common trend ten years ago in New York City were for law firms to follow a 1,000-square-feet-per-attorney ratio but they are not trending towards only 550 to 650 square feet per attorney and some are going even smaller than that. The current rate in New York City is at $76.75 per square foot, an 11 percent rate increase from last year.

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New offices also come with advanced technology capabilities and open floor plans that allow for custom designs to meet the firms’ needs. Libraries and filing rooms are no longer needed now that everything is becoming digitized. Millennials are also able to do more for themselves when it comes to technology so less support staff is needed to help the attorneys.

Other firms that have taken on smaller offices include Paul Hastings; Weil, Gosthal & Manges; Morrison & Foerster; Kirkland & Ellis; and White & Case.





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