Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}
062022bimobilehero 062022bireporthero


Chicago Law Firms Target Best-in-Class Buildings to Attract and Retain Talent

Now more than ever, law firms are taking a thoughtful approach to their real estate decisions, using their physical space as a tool to bring both lawyers and staff back to the office, attract and retain talent, and create an environment that enhances overall collaboration, training, and energy.

For the last nine years, Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group (LSAG) has conducted the Bright Insight report in partnership with ALM/American Lawyer. The report covers many aspects of law firm benchmarks and trends including real estate, strategy, business, talent, operations, technology, and the incredible impact that the pandemic has had on the legal sector and real estate decision making. 

According to this year’s survey results, 76% of firms anticipate making either dramatic or incremental changes to their workplace moving forward in addition to the changes they’ve already made to date. Across the legal sector, the workplace is quickly evolving to increase agility and workplace flexibility. Amid the evolution, firms continue to downsize and right-size their real estate square footage with new target ratios of under 600 square feet (or less) for many law firms moving forward.  

These are trends we have noticed in Chicago as well. Collaboration and amenities are key, and spaces like coffee bars with lounge seating that resemble hotels more than traditional law firm office space are becoming increasingly common. The most popular location in the city for law firms is downtown Class A high-rises. Firms like Kirkland & Ellis and Willkie Farr & Gallagher have recently taken space in trophy towers along the Chicago River. Law firms remain committed to Chicago and are taking great space in new trophy buildings to recruit and retain the best talent in the marketplace.  

The war for talent for both attorneys and staff has never been fiercer on both a national and local level. Young lawyers and employees are increasingly opting for medium firms who offer flexibility. As part of recruitment and retention, it will be more and more important for senior partners to help maintain culture through mentorship and helping young employees with networking to continue their firm’s legacy and culture as well as secure business opportunities.  

Chicago is a great recruiting town offering diverse talent from the University of Chicago, Northwestern, Loyola University and DePaul University. With a more affordable cost of living compared to other major metros and access to arts, entertainment, restaurants, and more, it is a place employees and companies want to be located. 

To read more about these and other trends impacting law firms, check out our Bright Insight report

Insights in your Inbox
Subscribe to the latest local market research, insights & analysis from Cushman & Wakefield across the U.S.

Related Services

Legal Sector Advisory Group
Cushman & Wakefield’s global Legal Sector Advisory Group (“LSAG”) consists of more than 450 global advisors that specialize in strategizing, creating, and implementing real estate solutions that support the business and people of today’s legal sector.
Learn More

Ready to talk?

Our professionals are ready to provide further details on this and many other topics.

With your permission we and our partners would like to use cookies in order to access and record information and process personal data, such as unique identifiers and standard information sent by a device to ensure our website performs as expected, to develop and improve our products, and for advertising and insight purposes.

Alternatively click on More Options and select your preferences before providing or refusing consent. Some processing of your personal data may not require your consent, but you have a right to object to such processing.

You can change your preferences at any time by returning to this site or clicking on  Cookies

More Options
Agree and Close
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.
Agree All
Reject All