Patel | Gaines: The Modern Law Office

February 27, 2018 at 2:09pm

Named the 5th fastest growing law firm in the nation by Law Firm 500, local Patel | Gaines is on the fast track to the top. Not only do they offer their clients innovative strategies to their commercial real estate challenges, but their new building, due to open in Spring 2018, is a physical manifestation of these innovative strategies as well. After working for several well-established law firms in the nation, Rahul Patel and Grant Gaines found themselves disillusioned by the corporate structure of the law practices in which they worked. They met while working at the same firm and opened their own practice together in San Antonio in 2013 — with one in Fort Worth soon to follow — vowing to bring out-of-the-box solutions to their clients and their workplace.

Rahul Patel and Grant Gaines of Patel | Gaines

Innovation in Workplace Structure

In the past, law firms had the corporate model of principals located back in their massive corner offices, unapproachable, with their desks arranged in such a way to intimidate anyone who walked in. This is merely one example of the outdated concepts many law firms have worked under and firms like Patel | Gaines recognize these systems are not productive. This new generation of lawyers also recognizes that in order to have a successful and productive practice, they must change this mindset to that of a collaborative team as opposed to a “be-quiet-and-get-the-job-done” kind of workforce. Through this updated mindset, Patel | Gaines has been able to recruit some of the top talent in the nation.

Patel | Gaines offices- Rendering of rear elevation courtesy of Chesney Morales

Innovation in Real Estate Development

As the firm has grown, they realized that being commercial real estate and litigation lawyers, they should also put their money where their mouth is and practice what they preach. This logically led them in the direction to develop their own commercial real estate. Under construction now — and opening in Spring 2018 — the firm is developing a two-story commercial office building where the second floor will house the Patel | Gaines offices and first floor will be a series of leased tenant spaces.

Motivational quote courtesy of the Patel | Gaines Instagram page

Some of the Patel | Gaines real estate development strategies have involved paying attention to their neighboring businesses and their trajectory for success. They plan to meet the needs of these neighboring businesses by looking for potential tenants for their building that could also service the surrounding business community. Their team is being selective about their first floor tenants, seeking well-branded preferably local companies; and if the synergy is right, even willingness to aid start-ups in their success as tenants of their new building. Patel is hoping for a hip coffee shop and a salon to name a few.

Innovation in Design

The Patel | Gaines offices are at the forefront of modern law office design. To help them get there, they hired the local reputable architecture firm Chesney Morales to design both the exterior and interior design. With a reputation for building some of the most sophisticated spaces in San Antonio, Metropolitan Contracting will execute the design as their general contractor. Their furniture systems are being coordinated by the local furniture dealership CBI Group.

Rendering of Patel | Gaines furniture layout courtesy of CBI Group
Motivational quote courtesy of the Patel | Gaines Instagram page

On the subject of physical space, what comes to mind when you think of the interior of a traditional law firm? Perhaps dark mahogany wood paneling on the walls with ornate crown molding?  Wing-back chairs upholstered in burgundy or hunter green leather? Huge libraries with thick law books taking up valuable square footage? The law firm of the future is now heading in a direction that is modern in design, has a more efficient floor plan, encourages collaboration, and utilizes current technologies that allow them to meet or work from anywhere. According to leading design researchers, the following are 6 Key Points of the Law Office of the Future:

  1. Less is more: Gone are the gratuitous corner offices giving way to a smaller footprint than the past with workers shifting to a more mobile/digital workstyle and lessening the need for paper.

  2. Choice and Balance: When they are working in the office, they have a variety of places to touch-down for both focused work and collaborative work. For example a small conference room, a shared office, a workstation, etc.

  3. Future Proof: Offices are modular and reconfigurable with moveable wall systems and workstations to change with technology and staff.

  4. Ubiquitous Technology: Firms provide their workforce with mobile technologies enabling them to work from anywhere.

  5. Connect the Dots: Technologies are set up to be able to engage virtually from anywhere, video chat, etc.

  6. One Size Does Not Fit All: One office design should not be copy/pasted to another. The design and layout should fit the firm’s unique culture and brand.

First wall being erected at the new Patel | Gaines office building

Rahul Patel and Grant Gaines love working in San Antonio because of the ability to meet and work directly with top talent and local business/political leaders to shape the future and growth of our city, as well as the massive opportunities to fill certain gaps in our city – particularly when it comes to real estate and technology. This ties in perfectly with their corporate culture as their new offices are designed to be a law office by day and host occasional events by night to bring the community and its leaders together. Their main conference room will be multi-functional and serve as an event space with a conference table that is modular and reconfigurable to meet the needs of the event. The Marketing department will have a shared workstation to encourage and promote collaboration. Employees will have access to laptops to allow for remote work. Additionally, they offer full-time employees the latest iPhone and service plan at no additional cost to them. Their staff also will Skype to communicate with their DFW team and loop them in during their leadership workshops.

Patel | Gaines new building under construction

With exciting things on the horizon, the sky is the limit for the Patel | Gaines team and we applaud their efforts for placing value on the power of cutting-edge design strategies! You can follow their updates via social media at the links below.