For the month of September, I am going to use my Link of the Day feature to highlight legal blogs that I think are interesting and useful. Some may not be directly related to personal injury or Social Security disability law, but all of us who represent injured and disabled people occasionally need help in other areas. Some are new, and some have been mentioned here before. Today’s entry is:
Florida lawyer Long Duong publishes an interesting blog called Home Office Envy. It’s about his personal dilemma — whether to remain in a traditional office suite or work from his home. Here is Long’s explanation:
Hi! I’m Long and I’m a solo attorney in Gainesville, Florida. I have a traditional office suite in an office building that I actually own. So why did I start this blog? Well, because I’m torn.
Back in July 2005, Clay Center, Kansas attorney Grant D. Griffiths created an intriguing blog called “Home Office Lawyer” which as the title might imply, is about practicing law in the home office. I discovered his blog through one of the hundreds of Solosez listserv emails that I browse almost daily (Solosez is a listserv that allows solo and small firm attorneys to chat about their experiences in practice, marketing and pretty much anything else that lawyers find entertaining.) Grant’s blog got me thinking about my own home office aspirations, but more importantly, ways to streamline my office processes, protocols and operations.
When I went solo back in November of 2005, I hadn’t yet stumbled upon Grant’s blog, but other attorneys had already discussed the idea of a home office. Every couple of months or so, a new solo attorney would chime in (without searching the listserv archives) about whether or not they should pay top dollar for premium office space, share space with other lawyers, seek virtual office space or stay at home. The answers were virtually the same – Do what makes sense for your practice or your current financial situation. That said, just because you can afford to rent an fancy office, do you really need it?
Without further thinking about the possibilities of a home office, I had already committed myself to buying an office building.
Now, nearly two years later, I’m torn between the traditional office and the home office concept.
The debate transcends deeper than just traditional vs. home office.
Turning a profit without a dumpster full of overhead is every business owner’s dream, but every professional service provider seems to believe that you need the 84″ desk, matching credenza, 5 drawer lateral filing cabinets, yellow pages ad, flat screen monitor, windows server, guest chairs, leased copier, full time administrative assistant and sandblasted office sign. I call all of that, “the presentation.”
I have “the presentation,” but do I really need it? Do my clients care? Does it justify my fees?
This blog will address every possible angle of going home to work, but more importantly, leveraging technology, the internet and common sense to maintain and grow any professional service business. Maybe I, or other contributors to this site, will inspire not only lawyers, but other entrepreneurs in any professional service industry, to take a second look at their socially and professionally accepted business model, and discover new ways to make work more streamlined, efficient, well-marketed …. and comfortable.
I look forward to emails, questions and answers! I need all the answers I can get because I haven’t gotten out of my “presentation” yet. Perhaps I never will … but even lawyer has a right to dream.
I am, after all, full of home office envy.