First Consultation: Does Your Law Office Recruit or Reject Clients?

Out of OfficeMost people are nervous when they visit a lawyer’s office for the first time. After all, no one enjoys having to go through the legal process. The design of your office will play a big role in how comfortable a potential client feels, so it is important to make the right first impression.

Rejection Situations
Old is OK”   When your clients walk through the front door they are expecting to see a modern office.  Something that concerns some clients is the idea that some lawyers do not stay properly up to date on new legal terminology and techniques. If your office looks like it was decorated in the ’80s (or before), then many potential clients will be left with a negative impression of your law firm. Always make room in your operating budget to update the style of your office at least once every five years. You should also add new accent pieces, such as framed fine art prints, on a regular basis.
Mess is More”   Another thing clients look for is an environment that is not overly clinical but has a clean and efficient appearance. If the first thing that they see is a receptionist desk that is overflowing with paperwork and clutter, they are going to begin to feel concerned about your organization skills. Although it is a good thing for them to be able to quickly ascertain that you have a lot of clients, it is bad for them to get the impression that you might not be able to handle all of them. One of the major complaints that people have about lawyers is that they feel that their paperwork was not handled or filed properly. Presenting a tidy entrance will help relieve their anxiety about this potential issue.
Recruitment Situations

Modern Furniture is definitely the right choice, but make sure that any couches or chairs that your clients might sit in are comfortable. It is always a good idea to be budget conscious, especially if you will be replacing the furniture every five years or so, but it is important to have furnishings in place that do not look like you got them from a discount furniture store. Try to establish people friendly lighting which will be a longer-lasting investment.
The Artwork that you choose to display is also an important component to the overall feel of your office. You should select frames that fit into your color scheme and, if possible, pick the same style of frame for every art print. Modern art makes the most sense, especially since you can easily select pieces that are complementary to your furniture. If you like paintings, consider picking up prints from an online reproductions specialist like Artismo. If fine art photographs are your thing, then it would be a nice touch to have black and white photographs of either your immediate area or of major landmarks around the world.
Basic Comfort Items are a must.  People enjoy having a nice mixture of magazines to choose from while they are waiting, and you should always incorporate basic comfort items, including water and coffee. An attractive container of wrapped mints or candies looks thoughtful and will create a welcoming feeling for a very small price.
By providing a clean, modern office that is also functional, you will create a very positive first impression. Adding to that a cohesive decor will say that your business is dependable and trustworthy.
 
Ann Bailey is an artist and writer and offers this research for the online print company Artismo. By providing lots of designs and theme choices in both artwork and framing, the online company allows law offices the luxury of choosing attractive artwork and updating their decor from one location, easily and budget-minded.

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