Since COVID sent millions of professionals home, and as office space demand continues to remain lower than pre-pandemic, immigration lawyers who want to go back into an office environment without committing to a full-time, dedicated space, and who want to ensure COVID safety protocols, are increasingly looking to coworking spaces.
For a law firm that can’t or doesn’t want to support a long-term office lease, coworking spaces provide more flexible arrangements to access a space where you can meet with staff, clients, or both, but only as needed. And while it may seem like the concept of coworking spaces is new, it actually isn’t.
This article will discuss how coworking spaces work and some pros and cons of coworking spaces, especially for immigration lawyers. We’ll go over how you, as an immigration lawyer, can use a coworking space to your advantage for a more flexible office arrangement that gives you space to cultivate in-person interactions with your clients, staff, and colleagues.
Today, we associate coworking spaces with tech companies, freelancers, or startup founders. The concept of coworking has changed since it started in Germany in the mid-90s, and was mostly geared towards hackers. By the end of the 90s, the first space with flexible seating options for individuals and teams had opened in New York.
In 2005, coworking spaces became more mainstream when a startup entrepreneur from California named Brad Neuberg opened what is considered the first coworking space. His goal was to create a space where he and others could take advantage of the increased productivity that occurs when people collaborate, while maintaining the freedom to work on his own. If you’ve decided to take your practice fully remote, a coworking space could be a place to interact with other professionals and meet in person with your staff and your clients without keeping a permanent office you don’t need year round.
The coworking industry has grown so much that by 2012, there were over 2,000 established coworking spaces worldwide. By 2024, the number of coworking spaces around the world is expected to grow to over 40,000, through a combination of global franchises such as WeWork, and smaller franchises operating at the local level with a small number of locations in one country.
As a result of the pandemic, we are seeing traditional urban office spaces tinkering with providing co-working opportunities, as well as a rising number of coworking spaces, often set up by specific companies for their employees closer to the suburbs so people can enjoy shorter commutes.
So, after seeing the possibilities that a coworking space could offer, let’s look ahead and consider the advantages and disadvantages a coworking space could have for an immigration lawyer.
There are pros and cons to using a coworking space as an immigration lawyer that you should consider before looking around. Let’s get right into it:
Weighing these options, you can choose whether a co-working space is right for you. Here are a few of the bigger co-working spaces around the US and internationally, though check your area to see if there are local co-working spaces that might fit your needs better.
Wherever you decide to run your immigration practice, whether fully from home, at a traditional office, or somewhere in between at a coworking space, you need a cloud-based immigration case management platform to keep your practice safe, secure, and perhaps most importantly, mobile and flexible, just like you. With Docketwise, you can streamline your immigration casework so you can focus on what’s most important: supporting your clients, without worrying you left something at the office.
From a full library of immigration forms to client questionnaires in multiple languages to an industry-leading set of API integrations, we help you stay up to date on all your cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your firm.