Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lawyers in cubicles - are law profs next? TaxProf Blog


Frankly, I think it makes sense.  Space is expensive.  There were reasons for the old style: confidentiality a prime factor.  But nobody talks on the phone anymore - thanks to smartphones.  And young lawyers rarely see clients.  But the collaboration argument?  I don't buy it.  For that you want a place to go and chat - an office.  Now as to law profs...please.  No.  - gwc
TaxProf Blog
by Paul Caron

Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Lawyer Cubicles Are Coming to New York:

Here at Law Blog, it’s not often we see a large law firm do something unprecedented when it comes to running its business. But we’re pretty sure Paul Hastings LLP is about to forge new ground when it moves its New York office next spring.

In its new midtown Manhattan space, junior lawyers won’t get the offices many dream of in law school. Instead, they’re getting a cubicle.

The move will only affect first- and second-year associates, who will be seated in pods of 12 in prime window-lined real estate on the ends of floors. For now, the firm is calling them the “end zones.”

“I really do believe first- and second-years will benefit from true collaboration—they feed off each other,” said Barry Brooks, the chair of the firm’s New York office. “I don’t feel bad about it.” ...

Architecture firms have long been pushing law firms to make radical changes, like using open space. But firms have been reticent to veer from tradition.

“It’s going to be pioneering,” said Steven Martin, a principal at Gensler, the architecture firm that designed the office. Mr. Martin notes that in London, firms routinely put attorneys, including partners, in open space. “That’s just been a cultural difference between London and the U.S.,” he said. ...

We’ll be watching to see if other law firms begin to embrace the lawyer cubicle. Ken Rapp, a vice chairman at real estate firm CBRE who’s worked with Paul Hastings and other law firms, put it best: “The way it works in the legal industry, one or two do something, then the rest tend to follow after that.”

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