Law Practice Management

Law firms splurge on these amenities to impress clients

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Some law firms are splurging on amenities to impress clients even as they cut back on office space for lawyers.

The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) lists some of the luxury improvements: high-tech offices, event halls accommodating 200 people and wine bars. In some instances, landlords are paying for the improvements to gain law firms as tenants.

At Mayer Brown, the article reports, “softly lit conference rooms” double as dining rooms, the reception area can be used as a bar, and “clients can linger with a drink in a living room-like lounge after spending the day doing business in one of the 19 conference rooms.”

Kaye Scholer accommodated one client’s request by hosting an event for him. The article describes the affair as “a poker night hosted by the client, complete with poker tables, ESPN on big-screen TVs and candy cigarettes.”

At Paul Hastings, clients will be allowed to use its board room in its new Manhattan office for their own board meetings and the office’s equipment for their own video conferences.

While some law firm leaders view the amenities as a lure for clients, others say lavish surroundings can lead to clients’ suspicion that their legal fees are supporting the opulent surroundings. Veta Richardson, president and CEO of the Association of Corporate Counsel, agreed with that view.

“The law firms who believe in-house counsel want to see them with marble tables and cappuccinos made to order are really fooling themselves,” she told the Wall Street Journal.

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