The D.C. Bar will be closed for the holidays December 24–January 1
 

Washington Lawyer

The Small Firm Experience

Small firm meetingChristopher Zampogna of the firm Zampogna P.C. is well acquainted with the challenges of moving and offers some insights from the small firm perspective. Zampogna P.C. has three staff members and has moved three times over the past 12 years. Zampogna says there are many things a small firm or solo practice need to consider before making the move. He offers the following suggestions: 

A Leap of Faith 

The first lease I signed was in 2002 when I had one client. It was a three-year lease and I could only afford one month! But I signed. You have to be positive. Don’t be afraid and say, “I can do it!” Clients will come to you in a small office if it is in a good location. In fact, better clients will come to you, too. 

Work With Your Landlord

If you are renting, staying with the same landlord makes it easier to renegotiate leases. I was in my last location for seven years, but I had that landlord for 12, and moved around within that ownership. One thing I have learned is landlords don’t like it when you leave, so if you are considering a move, talk to your landlord to see if they will make accommodations for you. 

Work With Your Coworkers 

I have three people in my office. The smaller you are, the more important it is to share information with your coworkers. You are a big part of their lives. I shared my intentions about the move with my staff and had them give me input. I made sure they were involved. I had the final decision, but I wanted them to see the space before I signed the lease. Your staff may bring something to the table that you don’t see. 

Get to the Cloud 

I embrace technology, like cloud computing, and that makes moving tremendously easier. Your office goes down when you move and some of your equipment does not work for a while. The beauty of technology is that it allows you to work remotely during the downtime. All you need is your laptop. 

Keep Good Neighbors 

Washington, D.C., has a reputation for having the best lawyers in the country, so I wanted a space that was commensurate with that environment. I wanted a space that was very professional so that when someone shows up, they would think, “Wow, this firm can handle the case.” My most recent move brought me to K Street, and we are neighbors with lobbyists and professional firms, a major change from the small business environment we were in before. Neighbors matter.