The Website For Lawyers Hanging a Shingle and Seeking Shared Law Office Space

LawSpaceMatch.com is the perfect online service for newly graduated law students who are thinking of starting their own solo practice or small groups of graduates who want to hang out their own shingle. The purpose of LawSpaceMatch is to help attorneys looking for office space find law firms with available space. It is a match.com for lawyers seeking shared office space.

The founder of LawSpaceMatch, a Mercer Law graduate, Elaine M. Russell was looking for a new office space for her solo corporate law practice in Atlanta, Georgia. After a frustrating search, yielding no website or source that connected her with open office space, she resorted to a door to door search for office space. Since pounding the pavement was not the best use of resources or time, Elaine developed LawSpaceMatch to save other attorneys from having to do the same legwork. This online service is free and easy to use and accessible to attorneys and firms with office space needs. Law firms with space to rent or sublet can post these listings and upload photographs on the website. Attorneys search for law office space that would match their needs. Since the online service covers all regions of the country, it enables solo practitioners in transition to hang a shingle in a different state or find a partner in a different part of the city or state to with which to share space.

Lawyers and law students may also post their professional profile. Since attorneys are able to view each others professional profiles, finding attorneys with similar practice areas with whom to share space is easier. Whether you are a new solo practitioner or a current practitioner looking to start a new practice, www.LawSpaceMatch.com can help you save time, space, and ultimately money. This website is free to use. Check out www.lawspacematch.com. Mercer law student Sarah Phaff has posted on the blog along with many others. If you are interested in contributing a blog post, please contact elaine@lawspacematch.com. Also check out the podcast Contributed by: Sarah Phaff, 2L via Mercer Law Free Press See Also: A View From Law Students, Law Firms with Unused Offices, Atlanta Office Space Vacancies

You Can't Run a Law Practice from a Coffee Shop

Being a solo practitioner can sometimes be overwhelming, particularly for those who have never done it before. Among the many different decisions that a prospective solo practitioner needs to make is office space for the law firm. Because so much of the practice of law has become electronic, some solo practitioners have come to the conclusion that they can successfully practice law without dedicated office space. However, just about anyone who has attempted this sort of arrangement will tell you, having functional and reasonably appealing office space is a very worthwhile investment. While it is true that you can work on a letter or brief from a laptop at the local coffee shop or a room at the law school or your converted garage space, these types of arrangements are typically inefficient. Functionality is the key to efficiency, and it is hard to replace a well-designed office space with reliable copying, scanning, and other equipment, high-speed internet connection, and a dedicated space you can meet with clients and potential witnesses.

Nothing screams a lack of credibility to potential clients and opposing counsel more than an attorney that does not have a dedicated office address. Meeting with a client in a home-office leaves the client wondering why the attorney is not profitable enough to afford office space. Having opposing counsel send documents to a post office box opposed to an office address indicates you do not have the resources to adequately handle cases. In short, there is a reason why virtually all successful attorneys invest in adequate law office space to support their practice. Moreover, particularly in light of the current economic trends, there is very good space to be had at a bargain.

Opportunities to sub-let "Class A" space at a discount abound. And while you may not have your name over the door as a sub-tenant, you will have access to functional space, adequate equipment, and respectable surroundings. If you are planning to run a law practice, finding good Atlanta office space at a reasonable price is well worth the investment.

In 2010, Elaine M. Russell created LawSpaceMatch.com, a website dedicated to helping law firms with open office space and solo practitioners connect with each other. This free service matches lawyers seeking to sublet office space with law firms possessing unused office space across the country. Elaine is a corporate and business attorney representing clients throughout Georgia. Her office is located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. Contributed by: William B. Ney Notes: See Also: Atlanta's March Unemployment Report Offers Hope for Region , Don't Count On Your Real Estate Broker When You Need a Sublease of Your Office Space, Law Firms with Unused Offices

Atlanta Attorneys Sublease Space

Sublease, sublease, and sublease. Atlanta attorneys are avoiding "dark space" and sharing office space with other attorneys. Subleasing law space means space that has been leased by a tenant and is being offered for lease back to the market by the tenant with lease obligation. "Dark space" is vacant space that is not currently occupied by a tenant, regardless of any lease obligation. Sharing law space is a great way to cut costs and Atlanta lawyers are seeking avenues on how to sublease law space or share empty office space with like-minded lawyers. Atlanta office vacancy showed little movement in the first quarter of 2011, thereby,

Atlanta lawyers are posting and listing empty office space on www.lawspacematch.com. These lawyers are attracting law school graduates who have not yet found a job in the legal field. The law school graduates are realizing that legal jobs are hard to find and starting their legal career as a solo practitioner is the best option. Sharing law space with seasoned lawyers gives these future lawyers a forum for networking with local attorneys and opportunities for legal work which they otherwise would have no access.

The mission of www.lawspacematch.com is to assist the legal profession by creating a web site targeted for attorneys in transition and law firms with empty office space. Immediate opportunities for attorneys desiring relocation may be found with criteria-based custom searches or views by zip codes. It's simple.  Law firms post available office space; attorneys search and find space while simultaneously posting their professional profiles on our site. www.LawSpaceMatch.com is a matching site like no other and benefits both the law firms and the attorneys by directly connecting these two parties.

Although hope remains the economy will eventually turn around, and lawyers will have an overabundance of legal work which will spur employment in the legal industry, access to the local legal community through www.lawspacematch.com is a source for networking with attorneys and seeking law space in a real estate market with a large holding pattern. Note taken from Atlanta Journal Constitution, on Friday, May 6, 2011 : Office space rebound still on hold

The Need for Law Space Match

"Hold on". Two words that law students are having trouble digesting when it comes to searching for jobs. Getting into law school reflects the driven, self motivated, problem solving, and controlling aspects of a typical law student's personality. Hard work starting from grade school, to college, to the LSAT paid off when that coveted acceptance letter finally came in the mail. So why is hard work not paying off in this economy, as employer after employer tell students to "Hold on"? It's no secret that this country is in a recession. As the number of law school graduates increase and the market dwindles, it is no surprise that employers are halting the hiring process.

At school, the stress of finding an associate position doesn't wait until graduation, but it has slowly started creeping in as early as the first year. Recent emails from our school's student services read, "Other Career Opportunities Outside the Legal Field" and "Nonprofit Volunteer Opportunities in the Area". Recent speakers visiting the school from big firms promote the "emotional fulfillment" that volunteering provides. As the debt slowly surmounts to six figures, and the career opportunities, even for those top in the class, dwindle, it is no wonder that students break into a hot sweat every time they hear the words "Hold on". As a second year, Type "A" personality, for me the stress of a future job has lead to anxiety and sometimes even heart palpitations. After talking to a recent third year student, on law review and moot court, I decided that if she couldn't get a paying job out of law school, my chances were slim to none. As a self-proclaimed tax law geek, I have recently begun considering the idea of getting an L.L.M. in tax. Not only would a master's degree give me an edge in the mediocre job market, it would delay graduating for another year. With the economy slowly on the rise, hopefully by the time I enter the job field, there will be a position available for me. But if not, then sharing law space with other attorneys is a viable option. Atlanta law space is available.

For those future attorneys who either cringe at the idea of another year of law school, or are ready to enter the job field immediately after graduation, there is Law Space Match. Law Space Match is a way for students to network with local attorneys in the area. Not only can these attorneys provide insight and experience, but the chance to talk to attorneys in the area provides networking opportunities, contacts, job references and even job leads. The best part about Law Space Match, especially for law students, is that creating an attorney profile and initiating these contacts is free. As more and more employers tell us students to "Hold on" until the economy gets better, Law Space Match provides a forum for us to network with local attorneys in the area interested in helping us start a rewarding career. In the past, hard work has gotten us where we want to be, when we want to be there. Although the economy will eventually turn around, and hopefully lawyers will begin to prosper financially again, students are able to connect to the local legal community through Law Space Match as the current job market forces us to "Hold on". Contributed by: Natalie Lynn Fears

The Ethics of Legal Office Sharing Arrangements or Subleasing

4 Simple Tips to Keeping it Clean:

The benefits of legal office sharing arrangements or subleasing are highly valuable: Money savings, camaraderie, and availability of professional consultation. The legal ethics are highly important, yet simple. Here are four simple tips for keeping your legal office sharing arrangement or subleasing in line with your state's ethics rules.

1. Maintain Appearance of Professional Independence. Make it crystal clear to the public that you are independent lawyers, not a firm. Never imply otherwise on your letterhead, business cards, office signage, and directory listings; when answering the phone; or in fee agreement. (ABA Model Rule 7.5) For example, the receptionist should answer the telephone, "Law Offices," not "Smith and Jones Law Offices." And, your letterhead should read, "Smith Law Office" while your office mate's letterhead should read, "Jones Law Office," not "Smith and Jones Law Offices." (Example of state ethics rule: Georgia Rule 7.5)

2. Maintain Absolute Confidentiality. Keep your client files absolutely confidential. This means separate staff, files, computers, telephones, and fax. Confidences must not be shared. For example, you can share a receptionist if she does not have access to your client information. (Example of state ethics rule: Georgia Rule 1.6)

3. Avoid Even the Appearance of Conflict. Do not contemporaneously represent clients with adverse interests to those of your office mates. (ABA Model Rule 1.10) For example, if your office mate is representing adoptive parents in an adoption, don't represent the birth mother. Just keep it clean. (Example of state ethics rule: Georgia Rule 1.7)

4. You Can Share Fees. Follow normal co-counsel and fee sharing ethics rules (ABA Model Rule 1.5). Either allocate fees based on services provided or one lawyer assumes responsibility for the case and the client consents to fee sharing in writing. For example, Lawyer Smith does 40% of the legal work and receives 40% of the legal fees and Lawyer Jones does 60% of the legal work and receives 60% of the legal fees. (For example of states ethics rule: Georgia Rule 1.5) These 4 tips for keeping it clean in legal office sharing arrangements or subleasing are meant to raise the red flag of awareness. Be sure to consult your state's ethics rules for specific guidance and examples specific to your state for your legal office sharing arrangement or subleasing.

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