Moving Law Offices? Here is a Really Big Checklist
Moving stinks, no matter what your budget or occupation. But for us, the lawyers, it's an even bigger pain: everybody, from the courts to the bar to clients, all need to be notified, there is no room for downtime, and everything needs to go according to plan so that you can get back to work ASAP -- doubly so if you have important case deadlines pending.
The key to a successful move, then, is organization. Advance planning, a big checklist, a free weekend, and enough luck to avoid any lost boxes or damaged equipment are what you need to close up shop at one office on a Friday and open back up the following week, without missing a beat.
Here's one of those things -- the checklist:
- Notify current and former clients.
- Notify opposing counsel in all open matters.
- Notify the local courts.
- Notify the state and local bar associations.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Notify the banks/financial institutions.
- Fill out Change of Address forms with the post office.
- Transfer and/or cancel utilities. (Consider starting your service a day or two early, just in case.)
- Visit your new office space to make sure the facilities are up to par. (Be sure to check for Internet wiring, if necessary..)
- Hire an extremely reliable and well-reviewed moving company.
- Use banker boxes, clearly labeled and organized. (By alphabet, by filing cabinet drawer, by attorney -- whatever.)
- Update your website. (Check all pages, not just the Contact Info page.)
- Update your social media accounts.
- Update any online directories. (Especially the FindLaw directory.)
- Update all online and offline advertising.
- Update your business cards and letterhead.
- Update your checks and practice management software.
- Update your form documents.
- Google yourself for any other listings of contact information that you might have missed.
- Update your Google My Business, Apple Maps Connect, and other local listings.
- Do spring cleaning/file archiving before you move to reduce clutter. (Consider going paperless at this point.)
- Schedule a moving party for staff on a typical off day to avoid interrupting business.
- Great tips from the Michigan Bar: include notice about the move and new address on all staff members' voicemail messages and use a red stamp that says "Note: new address" on all written correspondence.
- If possible, put up a sign at your old location, just in case anyone drops by on a whim.
- Take the opportunity to meet your new neighbors -- they might be a great source of referrals.
Have you ever moved law offices? Did we miss something? Tweet us @FindLawLP.