Management Assistance Program

Office Sharing Has Both Potential Promise and Pitfalls (August 18, 2020)

Today we are going back into the archives for a timeless law office management tip. Many solo or small firm lawyers share office space with other lawyers without going into partnership or intending to do so. Oklahoma City attorney James Slayton and I wrote a pair of essays on this subject a few years back we called Office Sharing: The Promise and the Pitfalls. My blog post links to those essays as well as some other resources on lawyers sharing office space.

Today with more individuals working remote, office sharing can include a number of things including a solo lawyer making an agreement with a law firm to serve as a mail drop, signing for certified mail and accepting deliveries. Instead of renting an office suite for exclusive use, some firms provide lawyers with conference room space for depositions and interviewing clients by appointment a fixed number of hours per month. Office sharing provides the benefit of having others to share ideas with and sometimes get referrals of new clients.

But with all of the benefits that may come from office sharing, the main thing you do not want out of an office sharing relationship is for some other lawyer’s client to claim you were a partner and then liable for the other’s actions (or inactions.) We give some tips on avoiding that scenario.