This post is part of "The Shingle Life," a series of 15 posts. You can start at the beginning or see all posts in the series.

The need for a physical office is far from new advice here at Lawyerist. In fact, it’s one of the most common pieces of advice when starting a law firm. Nonetheless, we’ve been using a PO Box and our apartments for all this time. Now that we are finally opening a physical law office I’ve realized that it’s quite an undertaking.

You can discuss The Shingle Life in the comments, in the LAB, or on Twitter using the hashtag #shinglelife.

The Furniture

The most obvious furniture barely needs to go on a list. A desk and a chair are the bare necessities. But if you don’t want the bare minimum, there are other things to consider:

  • Chairs for visitors in the reception area
  • Chairs for the conference room
  • Conference room table
  • Pictures to hang
  • Bookshelves
  • Filing cabinets
  • Desk lamp

We lucked out. Our office has a private conference room, but it’s already furnished. As for desks, we’ve found some good deals on Craigslist. I’ve got a traditional wooden desk and then a standing desk for my computer. My partner is staying traditional with a nice wooden desk.

The Digital Presence

The purpose of having an office is so your firm has a physical presence. But a digital presence matters to some extent, and it’s tied to the new office. Make sure to update the address on your website, and keep a record of it. If you’ve been waiting to set up a Google+ page, as we have, now is a perfect opportunity.

Everything Else

Pennsylvania, like many states, has an online attorney directory. Attorneys are required to report their current address, so make sure to check and see if your state has a similar requirement. At the same time consider setting up some mail forwarding from your previous address.

We are currently shopping for renters’ insurance. Our office is down a flight of stairs, and there are valuables that could be damaged in a flood/fire/break in, so we want to be covered. It’s not very expensive at all. We will probably pay less than $150 annually for enough insurance to cover our furniture and computers, as well as most injuries.

Finally, we decided to order new business cards, but only because we were almost out of our current supply.

Is there anything I missed? Let’s hear about when you set up your first office (or your plans to do so).

Read the next post in this series: "."

The Small Firm Scorecard example graphic.

The Small Firm ScorecardTM

Is your law firm structured to succeed in the future?

The practice of law is changing. You need to understand whether your firm is positioned for success in the coming years. Our free Small Firm Scorecard will identify your firm’s strengths and weaknesses in just a few minutes.

Leave a Reply