From big firms like Bryan Cave and Thompson Coburn to solo practitioners, downtown’s legal community provides an important economic engine for downtown.
At the same time, downtown offers law firms many unique advantages:
- Recruiting. A downtown location can give a firm an edge when it comes to recruiting the most talented law school grads, many of whom prefer working in a lively downtown to a suburban environment (including Clayton’s quasi-urban downtown).
- Location. Downtown offers proximity to both city and federal courthouses, as well as other firms, clients, etc.
- Accessibility. Public transit and the convergence of major highways makes downtown highly accessible to workers from all parts of the region, particularly Illinois.
-Prestige. A downtown address simply delivers a prestige factor that no other part of the metro area can match. Smaller firms can improve their visibility and stature by locating downtown.
-Amenities. Downtown is the ideal spot for “extra-curriculars” – things like restaurants, hotels, bars, and other amenities needed for socializing and entertaining clients.
-Cost. Class A space downtown is significantly cheaper than in the suburbs. This is not only helpful to smaller, fledgling firms, but can help silk stocking firms be even more profitable.
When you add in the other factors listed above, downtown should be a no-brainer for just about any firm.
Anderson & Gilbert is a firm that got its start downtown, moved to Clayton, then decided to return downtown. Here’s a great quote from Frank Duda, a partner with the firm, in a 2004 Business Journal article:
"The staff enjoys it much more than they did Clayton. There's plenty of access to convenient places to eat and do things. It's great to be able to participate in the life of the city. For a law firm or other business doing business in the metropolitan area, it's the best place to be."