Home Offices and the Practice of Law

Home Offices and the Practice of Law by Aimee B. Davis{3:48 minutes to read} Seven years ago, when I launched Aimee B. Davis Law P.C., I was dubious about whether I’d secure the same sophisticated level of corporate transactional work I was accustomed to handling as an associate (and later, as special counsel) in BIG LAW.

One of my primary concerns was the reaction potential clients would have when they discovered I worked from home. Would they take me seriously as a candidate for complex matters? In order to avoid the possibility of having my expertise and experience unfairly discounted by the lack of marble inlays surrounding my workspace, I tried to keep my office location on the down low. (SHOUT OUT to my legacy clients who were always “in the know” and willing to work with me no matter where I was situated!)

As time passed I started to realize, not only was my lack of an office NOT AN OBSTACLE to locking in and keeping clients, it was becoming AN ASSET. I attribute this to a change in perception about “home offices” and “telecommuting” in general. Also, clients were becoming savvy to the fact that my lack of office space translated into a cost savings, and they appreciated that I was not passing my overhead costs onto them.

I still believe that face-to-face meetings with potential clients help secure “getting the business” and solidifying professional relationships. Certainly, in-office client meetings allow me to ask more informed questions about their business concerns and market challenges. Nevertheless, when I’ve offered to meet with clients in their offices, I’ve been told they’d prefer to review and discuss legal documents telephonically. No one is asking to use Skype or any other video-conferencing applications. In fact, I’ve actually never met many of my clients in the flesh.

I suppose these clients consider phone calls to be the most efficient use of their time. Plus, there is always the possibility that they are multitasking while I wax on about legal language necessary to protect their business interests, the nuances of which tend to make laypeople’s eyes glaze over, and so they may prefer me not to see them dozing off.

It still surprises me that clients are willing to entrust their complex corporate legal matters to someone they have never met. Yet, at a recent meeting of similarly situated solos, I was told that they, too, have not met a majority of their clients. In fact, one of my colleagues noted a new use of the word “offsite,” commonly used by Millennials, but:

  • Does anyone over 40 know what that specifically means?
  • Does it mean they are working from a virtual office, or a home office?
  • Does it mean they are out of the office and taking a walk?
  • Does it mean they are available to conduct business, or should you expect to hear back from them later?

In any case, this zeitgeist shift is becoming rather normative, and so I am no longer hesitant to tell anyone that I work from home.

Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email aimee@aimeebdavis.com.

Aimee B. Davis
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C.
122 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.aimeebdavis.com
aimee@aimeebdavis.com

This entry was posted in Entrepreneurship and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Home Offices and the Practice of Law

  1. Chintan Panchal says:

    Nice article Aimee. I had many of the same thoughts and experiences when starting as well. Hope all’s well.

  2. Jeffrey Karp says:

    Hi Aimee. I like that you keep the articles short and give a reading time. I hate blogs that feel a need to have articles of a certain length and to meet their goal they torture the reader with B.S. I was able to focus through your entire article. I had a client that I have never met turn me down today when I suggested that we meet at the building where I am representing them (formerly “her” but I have switched to gender neutral).

  3. Andy Madrid says:

    I think that’s great, Aimee! Congrats on the success of your practice and more power to you.

  4. Fabio says:

    Thanks for writing on this subject.
    I read this from my home office, while wearing shorts, a tank-top and flip-flops. And by “home office”, I mean my only office. And I love it.
    When I started my young practice less than a year ago, I was told by some attorneys that I should have an office, perhaps somewhere in midtown. I was hesitant, not only because of having to commute from uptown every day, but also the cost. It seemed silly to have an office, when as a general counsel I VERY RARELY ever visited external counsel at their office. And they rarely came to meet me at my office. We always just used the phone and email. Corporate clients do not have the time for more than that.
    So, until I land a major client who requires meetings at my “office” (unlikely), I will continue to work from home and depend on the A or D trains to get me downtown for the occasional in-person meeting.
    Thanks again for this piece!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *