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What is so special about law firms, that they persist with such a predictable way of using office space? The prevailing stereotype is that lawyers (at least in the City) occupy lots of individual private offices, have vast libraries, miles of storage and a suite of ostentatious client meeting rooms.

Aren’t lawyers people, too? I have never quite worked out why their offices are expected to be so different from everyone else’s. Sometimes we are asked to assist the marketing of new buildings by preparing test fits for different types of occupant. Typically these types include corporate, banking and both UK and US lawyers. While these layouts can demonstrate the versatility of a building floorplate, they almost always end up as a caricature of what letting agents think lawyers need from office buildings. As a result they perpetuate a view about how law firms are expected to use office space.

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