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IRVINE, CA—Eliminating their library, standardizing private-office sizes, increasing attorney-to-staff ratios and investing in technology that diminishes document-storage needs are among the ways law firms are reducing their footprint, JLL‘s SVP Ryan Hawkins tells GlobeSt.com. According to the firm’s annual law-firm report, Orange County-based law firms are experiencing a variety of real estate challenges including a lack of available blocks of contiguous space in amenity-rich projects, a tightening market causing landlords to pull back concession packages, strong rent growth limiting the number of value options and a trend toward efficient space utilization being challenged by rising local construction costs. Still, law firms are taking advantage of real estate opportunities in the region, including a growing creative-office market providing more options for firms looking for progressive space that appeals to new recruits, increased speculative development expected to add new space alternatives in the Airport Area and South Orange County submarkets and a deep and diverse talent base for recruiting in the area. We spoke exclusively with Hawkins about the Orange County law-firm market, what these firms are seeking in real estate and how they are meeting the challenges they face.

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