Law Practice Management

Should partners lose their couches and corner offices? Paul Hastings considers changes

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Paul Hastings plans to shrink its Manhattan office space by about 25 percent when it moves into a new location in 2016, despite plans to add lawyers to its roster.

Barry Brooks, chairman of the firm’s New York office, tells Bloomberg News that the firm is opting for smaller space despite plans to add about 40 lawyers in the next few years.

Brooks says the firm has fewer assistants, and it is downsizing space for its library and file room. “We are now a technology-driven practice,” Brooks tells the wire service.

Individual offices are also likely to be smaller, he said, and corner offices once the domain of partners could become common meeting rooms.

Newer lawyers, he told Bloomberg, are “used to working in cafes and they want to sit next to their colleagues. We couldn’t have a totally open plan, because lawyers still need their offices. But those offices don’t need to be as big as before.”

He also pointed out that associates, rather than clients, are likely to visit partners in their offices. “At the end of the day,” Brooks said, “partners don’t need the couch.”

See also: “Do you work in a plush corner office, or nothing even close to that? Tell us about your workspace!”

ABA Journal: “Designing your law office to save money and boost productivity–without sacrificing style” “Baker Botts joins open office trend, moves junior associates to interior area”

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