Offices & latency

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Mail

Lawyers used to communicate with their clients and other lawyers using hand delivered paper mail.

Nowadays lawyers communicate to a very significant extent with email. And infact spend most of their time looking at their Outlook client.

Communication via email has many advantages over physical mail. One of them being speed since email communication is essentially instantaneous. By comparison physical mail is delayed by the time it takes for the mail to be collected, then delivered to target building and then delivered to the relevant individual

Communication

A significant amount of communication lawyers actually have is with other lawyers. For example in M&A transactions lawyers can spend more time arguing with the lawyers on the other side of the transaction, than actually talking to their own client.

And this is part of the reason why big corporate and M&A law firms concentrate inside cities such as London. If you're going to be sending lots of communications to other law firms then it makes sense to be near the other firms, so that the post can be delivered faster. Infact in the past in London the post was collected and delivered twice per day. Which allowed for surprisingly quick communication between law firms.

Latency

The physical proximity of law firms to each other in the pre-email age is essentially equivalent to companies positioning their servers near important datacentres to speed up communications. Or how computer games like Call of Duty select participants in lobbies based in part on the location of the player relative to a server.

This concept of how quickly communications happen is often referred to as latency.

Now that lawyers hardly ever send physical mail and largely communicate via email and often work from home, this begs the question:

What is the point of an expensive London or New York office for a law firm in the mid 21st century?

TechFranklin

At TechFranklin we operate exclusively through our cloud hosted web application. This gives us significant advantages over traditional operations in that we have significantly lower costs and this allows us to provide the best possible prices. And it means we can deliver 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days a year.

If you want to use TechFranklin on Christmas day at 3am, you can.

You'd hope even a lawyer at Latham and Watkins wouldn't do that.

Next blog:

Is Edward Franklin trying to imitate Steve Jobs by wearing a turtleneck?