Dallas Legal Firms Are Still Heading Uptown and Taking Less Space

Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the country's top spots for law firms.And more of the legal business is leaving downtown for newer digs in Dallas' booming Uptown district.D-FW ranks seventh nationally for legal workers, with about 27,000 jobs, according to a new report by commercial real estate firm CBRE. Since 2010, D-FW has added almost 2,000 legal services jobs. New York is the top legal market with 136,500 law firm workers."The Dallas central business district is still home to many of the large law firms in D-FW, but firms are slowly migrating to Uptown and the north side of the CBD and the Arts District due to the live-work-play environment offered there and the ability to right-size in buildings with more efficient floor plates," Phil Puckett, CBRE executive vice president, said. "We are also seeing a growing trend of national law firms opening new offices in D-FW."With several recent leases, law firms now occupy more than 1.6 million square feet of office space in the Uptown market.That compares with more than 2.8 million square feet of downtown offices, which are used by legal firms, according to CBRE.In the last year, out of the five largest lawfirm office leases, three were in Uptown. The biggest move was Gardere Wynne Sewell's move from downtown to the new McKinney & Olive tower in Uptown.With moves to new offices, D-FW lawfirms are downsizing their footprint in buildings. On average they cut space by 30 percent in the year ending mid-2017. More than half of the largest lawfirm office transactions in the last year resulted in a decline in space rented.Austin leads the country for lawfirm growth, with a 43 percent increase in the number of lawyers since 2019, CBRE's study found.Top U.S. Markets for Law FirmsRanked by number of legal jobs.New York City 136,500Los Angeles 66,500Miami 47,600Chicago 47,300Washington, D.C. 45,500Philadelphia 39,200Dallas-Fort Worth 27,000San Francisco 26,100Boston 25,000Houston 24,800Source: CBRE Research  Continue reading...

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