By Marie Sarantakis
For attorneys located in the suburbs, renting an office space in downtown Chicago may not be a worthwhile investment. You may have an established practice with a steady stream of cases taking place at your local courthouse. Sure, you have the occasional case in Cook County and the client who wants to meet downtown, but let’s face it; you’re not interested in relocating your practice or taking on the responsibility of an additional location. Fortunately, there is no longer a need to do so.
The Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Company offers a free “office away from the office” for lawyers who need a temporary functional space downtown. The newly renovated eighth floor of 20 South Clark Street, just one floor beneath the Illinois State Bar Association, was designed to accommodate attorneys looking for the occasional place to conduct business in the city. Whether you need a private area to meet with a client, place to check e-mails in between court appearances, or spot to unwind over coffee, the ISBA Mutual Office may be your answer. With a contemporary design and modern decor, the ISBA Mutual space meets a host of needs.
If you enjoy working in an open workspace with a coffeehouse vibe, you’ll surely appreciate the Mutual’s Internet café. There is ample bar style seating for casual conversations or café tables to catch up on your latest project. Enjoy complimentary WiFi, a big screen television, and all of the coffee and tea your heart desires while overlooking a breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline.
Due to the sensitive nature of some legal work, there may be times when you need more privacy. The Mutual designed four micro-offices perfect for confidential phone calls or a quiet work zone. Adjacent to the micro-offices are meeting spaces to collaborate with colleagues.
If you would like to schedule a professional association meeting or networking event, the ISBA Mutual space also offers two large conference rooms to suit your needs. The rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as media streaming, an integrated conference call system, and easily accessible power sources with USB charging capabilities.
All of these spaces are open and accessible at no charge between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. “It makes sense for us to have a literal open-door policy for Illinois lawyers, whether they’re insured by us or not,” explained Chair of the ISBA Mutual Board, John Theis. Reservations aren’t necessary, so the next time you are downtown and need a space, stop by and visit your new part time rent-free office.
This article originally appeared in the WBAI Fall 2016 Newsletter.
Marie Sarantakis graduated cum laude from The John Marshall Law School (‘16). She is Vice Chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Family Law Committee, Chair of the CBA Law Student Division, member of the ISBA Task Force on Rule 711, and Editor of the ISBA Young Lawyers’ Division Newsletter. Ms. Sarantakis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.