"What makes a regional law firm design different?"
That question was the focus of an article recently published in the Maryland Bar Journal. The article, titled "Regional Law Firm Design," is a discussion between our Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Mike Epperson, James Yates, a partner at Wyrick Robbins Yates and Ponton, and Alliance Architecture, the team behind the transformative designed of Ward and Smith's Raleigh office.
This article will focus on the main takeaways from Mike's responses, but we strongly recommend reading the entire story here.
Cost as a Design Factor
With most things, the cost of operating can be a deciding factor in design. The article highlights some of the advantages smaller markets may have over their larger counterparts. For example:
"Ward and Smith has a policy wherein everybody gets an office, all attorneys, legal support and all administrative staff, everybody. In addition, we often locate offices for convenience, easy parking, access to retail, things that make life easier."
Slowly, law firms have started to shed their traditional image by adapting the design of their workplace to be more reflective of their culture and to foster cohesion, collaboration, and teamwork.
Michael Epperson expanded on the topic to the concept of first impressions, "when you come off the elevator, how you look speaks volumes about what it will be like to work here for the next twenty years."
In addition to the design, the article goes on to explain how the firm's five offices stay connected by leveraging technology. This includes the use of laptops, senior leadership hosting information digital happy hours through video conference, and providing access for all members to senior leadership. You can learn more about Ward and Smith's adaptive design here.