Ever since I started my own law practice, back in early 2006, I've been working out of a home office. I wouldn't have been able to do this but for a couple of things: (1) I learned how to be totally paperless; (2) high-speed internet access is cheap; and (3) I'm pretty self-sufficient and tech-savvy (for a lawyer, at least).
When I left the firm I kept all the clients that I was working for, except one. The rest of the clients were happy to get the same level of representation, but at a lower cost. In fact, a couple of the clients wound up sending me more business than I would have gotten if I had stayed at my old firm. Bottom line: I had a successful practice, without having to take on additional expense (and in fact I wound up gaining an additional deduction for having a home office).
In the past year or so I started to contemplate getting a traditional office, but my gut kept telling me that it didn't make sense. Why take on more expense? Why commit to a long term lease? Why return to the bustle of downtown, and pay for parking and deal with more hassles? Then my friend Al Robert told me about this new office set-up called LaunchPad, which was going to be run some guys who were tech-savvy and forward-thinking.
Chris Shultz was one of the guys, and I knew he'd do something interesting so I kept my antenna up. LaunchPad wound up getting space in the old McGlinchey law firm building, and after looking at their set up I decided this was the place for me. LaunchPad offers several types of working space: (1) a small private office, (2) a desk and phone, with a locking file cabinet, and (3) a co-working deal where you can sit at a communal desk and have no phone.
All of the plans offer high-speed wireless internet, which is the main amenity that everyone would be interested above all else. The internet speeds at work are much faster and more reliable than my home internet. I opted for the #2 plan, so I have my own desk and phone (to which I forwarded my business line). Also, I have access to several conference rooms (one of which has a flat panel TV that's set up for Powerpoint presentations). And I have access to the work out room on the top floor, which has private showers and lockers. Parking hasn't been an issue because I usually ride my scooter and park for free. If it rains then I take a car, but that's not too often (and I can opt to work at home when that happens too).
The best thing about this situation, though, is not all the office contraptions. It's the people. Everyone who works at LaunchPad is energetic and inquisitive. People here love technology and social media, so I'm actually learning more by being here than I would if I stayed at home. I like that there's a mix of people who are doing all kinds of interesting things.
One of the folks I met was an 18 year old named Stanford, who is a web-designer. I was able to ask him some questions about using WordPress, and as a result I managed to quickly update my firm website. It still needs some work, and when Stanford comes back from his vacation I'll probably get him to help me tweak it some more. Anyway, I think you get the message: LaunchPad is a pretty cool place to work. And, last but not least (for lawyers), the office is right next to the U.S. Fifth Circuit where I have access to a great library. Oh, and free Westlaw.
So, come by and say hi if you are in the neighborhood. And feel free to ping me if you're interested in coming to work at LaunchPad (but, if so, you better hurry because it looks like the offices are filling up fast!)