Affordability Meets Convenience ― And Precedent ― For Downtown Law Firm
“There’s a rich legal history and tradition downtown. The top firms and the courts are located here,” said Jeff Mullins, partner-in-charge of the Dayton office of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. “As lawyers, we like that precedent.”
Taft’s partners recently announced the firm would stick with precedent and remain downtown, moving its 52 employees into a renovated 21,000-square-foot space on two floors in the Kettering Tower. The new, larger space would support the growing firm, which had added nine attorneys and four support staff to its ranks in the past two years.
After examining several locations in and out of downtown, Taft decided staying in the center city was the best fit.
“There were a number of factors that went into the decision to remain downtown,” said Taft partner David Reed. “Downtown still is the hub for the business community. It’s also a real value and a good fit for employees and clients wherever they’re located in the region.”
As a centrally located hub, it’s easier for Taft and the more than 110 other law firms located in the center city to do business.
“The support network a law firm expects is located downtown,” said Barbara Duncombe, partner at Taft. “Arts, parking, entertainment, professional camaraderie ― trying to find all that in one location outside of downtown would be very difficult.”
These assets also make it easier for Taft to better establish itself as a regional, full-service firm. Attorneys want to work for law firms with a regional reputation and client base, Mullins said. For example, Taft successfully has recruited partners Gregory Lockhart, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio who has litigated more than 400 cases, and Allen Norris, one of the Dayton area’s few attorneys specializing in employee benefits.
All Taft employees easily can get involved in the community thanks to the firm’s downtown location, which is close to arts, service and other organizations.
“Our firm is interested in giving back to the community in terms of dollars and volunteer time, particularly in the core downtown area,” Reed said, noting that a downtown address makes many things convenient.
“We like being close to the center of Dayton’s strong arts community,” he added. “We’re within walking distance of several lunch alternatives. A lot of my meetings are with other lawyers, and it’s nice to be able to walk to a lot of them.
“We’re helping minimize our carbon footprint,” he said, only half-joking.
The Taft partners not only are committed to downtown Dayton now, but for the long haul. They see a city where convenience, affordability and leadership make it well-positioned for future growth.
“I’ve worked downtown for 20 years and have seen a lot of changes,” Mullins said. “I see a lot of leadership now, and it makes me feel better about the future of Dayton. We are a community that’s dealt with adversity. Looking at the city and region, I think we’re ahead of the curve. The right pieces of the puzzle are in place.”
Learn more about Taft Stettinius & Hollister by visiting its website.