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B ack when a square foot of office space in San Francisco cost more than dinner at a fine restaurant, law firms got creative with their real estate. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison relocated its support staff and its records, which once were sprinkled throughout the Spear Street Tower, to less expensive floors at the bottom of the building.

“It was a more economical use of the rental dollar,” says Executive Director Abe Isenberg. “Effectively within the same number of floors we could get more attorneys.”

Since that time, the San Francisco real estate market has been turned completely on its head. Rent rates have been cut in half, and there’s a decade’s supply of available office space. It’s a tenant’s market the likes of which the city hasn’t seen in years.

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