I left my old firm and started my own firm in September. I have already started to get client referrals and so far I am working from my home only - because it’s COVID time and people know Zoom now. I do estate planning and elder law, which lends itself to meeting clients at their locations when needed. I had a client drop off documents I need to review at my house this week and this was fine with the client. Do any attorneys here open their own home to clients ever for meetings?

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No way! Bad enough they have my cell number, I don't want clients to know where i live. I rent an office (really just 4 walls and a door) from another attorney for $500 per month, all utilities included, even wireless. Totally worth it.

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No. I like a very clear separation between home and work. You can look into professional virtual office workplaces. They offer nice addresses to use, and they can take mail and drop offs and either mail or scan them to you or put in your mailbox for pickup. They can also provide a phone number for you, answer phones professionally using your firm name and then forward calls to your personal phone and many also email your audio phone messages to you if you don’t pick up transferred calls. Depending on where you are, can be well under $100/mo.

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No, unless you live in a complex that has conference areas. They don’t need to know where you live, even if it’s not a contentious area of law. My firm is completely virtual as well. When the bar office or law library was open, we would meet there. However, as of lately we meet them at coffee shops/cafes.

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Hi! I don’t, but that is because I mainly do family law and don’t want anyone to know where I live. I don’t need clients, opposing parties, or parents in my GAL cases dropping by.

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A1: I completely understand that. I used to be a deputy prosecutor so I was very cautious of people knowing my home location for years.

I don’t plan to take on contentious estate planning/administration where litigation is happening. I’ve been a litigator and a transactional attorney and it’s hard to do both well at the same time because the timelines compete.

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I started a personal injury law firm about 18 months ago. Right now it’s two paralegals and myself. I also receive many client referrals. Two times of important client contact that typically requires in-person meetings: intake and disbursement (giving them a check and signing docs where they approve the settlement payout). Since March we’ve limited our in-person contact with clients. We come to the office, but keep our doors locked. We’ve been doing e-sign for contracts and even HIPAA release forms. Sometimes we mail them a document if it requires a notary and ask them to return it.
Disbursement meetings are difficult too. But I do those over GoToMeeting (like Zoom). It’s nice though because I can record the entire meeting and save the video to the client file to show that it was done correctly and approved by the client, if ever needed.
Clients understand. They don’t feel offended. And when I work on their cases effectively and quickly, they still send friend and family referrals, even though our in-person contact was limited.
I would not have clients come to my home — touching two different worlds that I don’t want to overlap.

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In an EP practice its perfectly fine. I wouldn't if I was practicing criminal law!

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If so, have you faced any issues with that?

Like others said, I don’t give my home address to clients. This is for reasons of both security and privacy.

Similarly, I don’t give out my personal cell number. If I need to call a client from outside the office, I use Google Voice to mask the number. If the client tries calling that number back after it’s captured by their caller ID, they get a recording saying the number doesn’t accept incoming calls.

I do make exceptions to these policies for clients with whom I have a pre-existing social relationship.

Go to their home instead.

If you’re just getting started, this can be a good option. But as your practice grows, you’ll likely become too busy to waste travel time on “house calls.” Hopefully by that point, your budget will be able to accommodate some sort of office space.

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I’d recommend renting space with another firm, preferably one that has a notary, or rent an office/mailbox/conference room from an a la carte office company.

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