In 1995, soon after completely committing myself to the agency and its clients (translation: after being fired from my full-time job), Anne and I signed a five-year lease on 1,300 square feet of office space in Cummins Station. It was the thickest document I had ever signed, and five years seemed like an eternity. The annual rent was about $9 per foot. (Wow!)
Fifteen years later, after three moves (all in Cummins Station) and countless expansions, we currently occupy approximately 17,000 square feet, which is shared among the agency (cj), the call center (LIP), the medical evaluation service (MVS), and our HR, IT, and accounting support group (Oasis). Our current lease on the space expires in September 2010, so the question is: “What’s Next?”
For the past two years, we’ve been trying to find a new home or identify a way to expand again successfully in our current building. After months of gut-wrenching tours, test fits, negotiations, and option considerations, our new home turned out to be literally right across the street in a free-standing, two-story brick building with steel infrastructure. The decision has been made. The papers have been signed. All that remains is execution of a plan to move the entire organization in the third quarter of this year—between July and September.
Our new home will be slightly more than 30,000 square feet. cj’s expansion will include room to dream, grow, and create like we have never experienced before. The space will feature our own multipurpose studio and meeting spaces designed to help us deliver on our brand promises at a higher level. LIP will more than double in size, providing the opportunity to develop an array of new services as they continue to offer the best answer rates and professionalism in the legal marketplace. And the quickly growing Med View Services venture, along with a couple new ideas, will now have room to reach their full potentials.
Why am I telling you all of this? Obviously, I am proud and humbled. But more important, I want you to be proud as well. It’s your support that has allowed cj to create the largest and most effective full-service agency for lawyers in the nation. It’s your trust that has allowed LIP to become the most respected intake name in the business. And it’s your encouragement that has led us to new and promising ventures that can be leveraged to serve and make your operations more effective and efficient. Don’t let us forget it, and remind us constantly. Without you…we fail.
P.S. Did I mention the $6 million debt Jimmy and I are taking on to make all this happen?
2010 is going to be a busy year for all. Our priorities will be in this order:
- Our Clients’ Needs
- Our Move
The Annual Client Conference in September