During the pandemic, many businesses scrambled to transition to virtual office spaces with a plan to eventually migrate back into their brick and mortar spaces as soon as it was safe. Husch Blackwell LLP took advantage of the unprecedented circumstances and decided to launch “The Link,” a permanent virtual office. “We quickly discovered we could achieve significant connectivity and productivity by leveraging technology and implementing new collaborative processes,” says Husch Blackwell partner David Agee.
The Link began in July 2020 with 50 team members. Today, the virtual office has 101 team members, including 73 attorneys across 27 cities and eight states, many of whom are new to the firm. The Link also has its own office managing partner and a deputy managing partner. “While virtual in nature, The Link operates similarly to our traditional offices,” Agee says. “We are focused on keeping our people connected to our firm culture of collegiality, innovation and client service.” He says most Link members are active participants in firm committees, participate in firm events and occasionally visit physical offices.
The firm cites three reasons for retaining the virtual office: recruitment, retention and expansion. “The Link opens up a huge talent pool of people that don't live near one of our traditional brick and mortar offices,” Agee says. “It also gives our existing team members new options that help support their professional and personal lives.” With a significant number of the HB teams having a nationwide practice, the firm has the ability to rapidly expand its geographic footprint with additional client services. The firm can onboard someone in a matter of days in The Link regardless of where they live.
The Springfield branch is also making a physical move next year out of Hammons Tower to a new building on East Sunshine near Sam’s Club. Agee says there is no correlation between the move and The Link, stating: “We are continuing to grow our footprint and team members in both our physical and virtual offices.”