Law firms have a number of unique requirements that set them apart from other large firms when it comes time to move. While traditional considerations like the furniture involved are comparable, the esoteric elements of a law firm create specific situations that a moving firm should not only be aware of, but comfortable and familiar with. Moving companies unfamiliar with these processes are more likely to experience challenges that could lead to a disruptive move.
One of the most significant differences between a law firm and a traditional firm is the number of key stakeholders during the move. While a traditional Fortune 500 may have a top-down management structure, meaning there is a chain of command and likely a single person who has been tasked with overseeing the entire move, law firms are more distributed.
The management structure means that the company handling the move needs to be incredibly flexible and capable of addressing the unique needs of several partners at the same time. Moving companies that do not have experience working with law firms may not have the bandwidth or ability to do this, which can result in delays, mistakes, or the inability to meet specific requests.
Below is a rundown of the unique challenges posed in moving a law firm and why it’s important to work with a moving company experienced in dealing with them.
Law firms often have a large amount of artwork and personal items owned by the partners that need to be moved carefully. These elements tend to be more pronounced in a law firm than in a traditional company. As a result, this aspect of a move is more intricate for a law firm than for many other types of organizations.
Hands-on expertise is needed to pack and move these things carefully. While most firms have limited artwork and other high-value items that need to be moved, law firms still do. Every law firm is its own headquarters, meaning there may be years of ephemera and personal effects in the building that need to be moved along with the attorneys and their content.
Because of the “always available” nature of a high-powered law firm, it’s vital that they minimize disruption during a move to the point of almost nothing. That means moves often start on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and must be completed by Monday morning so the firm can open on time. With moves now consisting of almost 80% boxes and IT equipment, the need for efficiency is more important than ever.
Because so much of the move is personal files that need to be in the office of the attorneys and their teams by Monday morning, it’s vital that the move be planned down to the minute, with flexibility built in to adjust on the fly if there is a last-minute request, change to the procedure, or an attorney needs a certain file.
Because of the importance of large moves that affect dozens of individuals, and the potential of downtime affecting “billable hours” at a law firm, there are a number of stakeholders who have a strong interest and therefore input into a law firm’s move. While the office management team in most other types of firms would handle the move from start to finish, a law firm is likely to have multiple stakeholders involved throughout the process. It’s important that the mover has experience with this element and the ability to respond quickly and flexibly.
Last-minute changes, unexpected interruptions, or sudden requests are more likely to happen in a law firm setting. A law firm moving company should have the resources available and time accounted for to quickly respond to these last-minute needs without delaying the move.
There may be other instances where an attorney is not ready to move at the time a firm has scheduled the move. The moving company needs to have the flexibility and experience in these situations to adjust on the fly, allowing for last-minute work or urgent issues to take precedence over the logistics of the move. For a traditional moving company with rigid processes, this would likely prove challenging.
Office Movers Express maintains a management structure designed so that decisions can be made quickly by the individuals with which a law firm is communicating. This allows us to react quickly to unexpected changes and be more flexible to address issues in a rapid response way. Where a traditional moving company might refuse to make changes or simply be unable to accommodate a last-minute request, OMX was built from the ground up to ensure the highest possible level of flexibility for all of our customers.