Law firms are spending less dollars on office space per attorney today. That’s clear in the latest JLL law firm report for
According to the report, released earlier this month, law firms in the Cincinnati market are spending about $17,000 in office
rent per attorney and allocating each attorney 700 to 800 square feet of office space. Historically, law firms in this market
spent about $22,000 in rent per attorney while leasing 900 to 1,000 square feet of office space for each attorney.
The target goal? It’s even less. JLL reports that law firms in this market will one day lease 500 to 600 square feet of office
space per attorney while spending an average of $14,000 in rent for each.
Law firms are still a key part of the Cincinnati office market, though. JLL reports that the typical law firm lease in new
office developments runs for 15 years at $32 gross rent a square foot. The average lease renewal for law firms runs for 10
years at $25 a square foot.
The law market, though, is in a bit of a holding pattern here. JLL says that leasing activity and absorption has been mostly
flat in 2017. This means that developers are wary of breaking ground on any new speculative development. This means that
vacancy will continue to decline, and force small- to mid-sized firms to solely consider leasing space in existing buildings.
JLL also expects law space rents to remain near current levels into 2018.
The trend is the same in Detroit, where JLL reported that the average squre feet per attorney had fallen to 650 to 800 in Detroit law offices. That’s down from an historic average of 850 to 1,000 square feet. In Detroit, the average rent per attorney had fallen to $25,000 from an historic average of $27,500.
In Grand Rapids, the average square feet per attorney had fallen to 700 to 900 square feet, according to JLL. Historically, that figure had been 850 to 950 square feet.