LFVA On the Move
News & Updates
August 2019 | Law Firm Vendor Association
Select, committed and service-oriented vendors serving the legal community.
LFVA Partners with Boys & Girls Club of Geater Washington
Every year the Law Firm Vendors Association (LFVA) selects a charity to partner with. In 2019 LFVA worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW). In 2019 LFVA worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW). The mission of BGCGW is to help boys and girls of all backgrounds, particularly those who need them most, build confidence, develop character and acquire the skills needed to become productive, civic-minded, responsible adults. 

Recently our member, Joanna Davis, from Legal Placements, Inc. stopped in at the Jelleff Recreation Center location and spent some time with one of the members, Asha.
Asha is a freshman at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.  Along with her academics, Asha is also involved in the Vocal Music program at this performing arts high school. Singing is one of her passions.

At Duke Ellington her days are long with academics in the morning and afternoon and afterward she focuses on her work in the vocal program. She is generally at school until about 5pm. After completing her day at high school she walks to the BGCGW. Asha made some time in her busy schedule to share a bit about her passion for BGCGW.

Joanna:  Asha, how long have you been involved with the BGCGW and what are some of the activities you have participated in?  
Asha:  “I have been coming to BGCGW for about (5) years. I started when I was in 4 th grade at Hyde Addison Elementary School. After school I rode the BGCGW bus to Jelleff Recreation Center.”  

“At BGCGW they usually have us do our homework from 4pm-5pm. This is called “Power Hour.”  During this time anyone can get help on their homework if needed. One of my favorite things is to do my homework here.”

“I took tap dance classes, participated in the drama program and also played Lucy in the Charlie Brown performance.  Every December, we are asked to perform at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and I sang and helped with the holiday program called “Holiday Sing.”  Other activities include swimming classes and chess classes.   I also have a younger brother and sister who are involved with BGCGW.   It is a really great place where parents can send their kids and they have the opportunity to do different things.”

Joanna:  Can you share some of the things you have learned as a result of being so active with the BGCGW?
Asha:  “I learned how to interact with other people, not just kids but also adults. The staff offer structure, which I appreciate. I also help in the office. I answer phones and do some other clerical work. I am learning office skills so I can build my resume.  This summer I will also help with the summer camp programs.”

Joanna: What are some of the things that you think make this organization fun?
Asha:  “ This is a good space to be in. It is nice that even if people cannot pay they can still enjoy coming to the Club every day.    My Club is a community and provides comfort to people that may not already have that in their lives. I have learned so much by being part of BGCGW and I want to be involved and give back to this community.” 

BGCGW has 15 sites through the DC Metropolitan area—actually 75 miles of territory from Manassas to Germantown.  These clubs welcome every child for a nominal annual membership fee. However, no child is ever turned away for the inability to pay. The contribution from LFVA will provide support to this organization and allow them to continue providing a safe haven, a broad activity program, and an education platform for the children.
MOI - Vendor Spotlight
MOI is more than furniture. We are experts in understanding client needs and providing solutions that help solve real business challenges. We successfully manage projects for our clients using a consultative, team approach rooted in partnership and transparency. 

Ranked #1 by the Washington Business Journal for the past five years, MOI is an experienced organization that leverages our buying/negotiating power on your firm’s behalf, supports and executes the defined design objectives, coordinates the manufacturer and installation RFP processes, and oversees the complex processes of order management, project management, and installation.

Orchestrating the furniture and service procurement process from start to finish while curating and delivering “on brand” solutions that are in step with budget requirements is our strength. In support of this principal effort, MOI provides warehousing/delivery services, installation, and project management oversight – in advance of mobilization, in the lead-up to occupancy and in the days that follow.

MOI understands the unique needs of law firm clients and believe that our portfolio illustrates this. MOI joined LFVA four years ago to establish long lasting partnerships with the legal community and continue to share and learn about the design trends in the market. Through the important partnerships at LFVA, Tim Fink (MOI), Brian Alvarez (MOI), and Steve Martin (Gensler) had a “fire-side” conversation relating to the transformation of the workplace within law firms as it relates to privacy and open plan. Steve Martin is the Firm Wide Practice Area Leader, Workplace Professional Services at Gensler. Tim Fink is a Project Director with MOI and Brian Alvarez is the Director of Business Development with MOI. 

Steve Martin has seen law firms globally transitioning from a workplace that is very closed and private office heavy to a hybrid workplace that has both private offices and open plan. This hybrid workplace would include glass offices, open work areas, private rooms for focused work and other shared collaborative spaces. Within Europe, specifically London, the hybrid concept has been more adapted into the floor plans for law firms. Whereas the United States has been much slower in adaptation.
To many individuals who have been working within the law firm offices, this open office concept creates concerns such as a change of culture, a loss of hierarchal status, as well as acoustical privacy. Tim, Brian and Steve all agreed to these points, and understood that taking a hybrid solution as well as a full evaluation of culture, vision, clientele, etc. would need to be evaluated while looking to change the space.
Acoustical privacy can be a huge deterrent for transitioning to a more open plan. With a great majority of time spent by lawyers as focused work or “heads down” work, acoustics are at the top of the priority when designing a space. One of the solutions MOI represents to help with acoustical privacy in an open plan setting is a Framery Pod.

These pods can be placed anywhere within a space and allow your space to be adaptable over time. Framery pods are essentially a “phone booth” that wipes out noise and allows a great option for an individual such as a lawyer to migrate for focus work while still being surrounded by coworkers. Steve Martin had this to say about the pods, “Framery Pods allow flexibility within the space, and really support the conversation of choice and variety of places to work, whether it is on an individual basis or a meeting with multiple people. As firms are looking for opportunities for more flexibility to cost-effectively adapt to changes over the term of a lease, furniture solutions are replacing hard construction when appropriate. The Framery Pod is one example of this.”
As with any solution, there is a component of cost and return on investment. With the great majority of commercial companies, the funds for the outfitting a new space comes from a budget within the company. Whereas the funds for outfitting a law firm are coming from the partner’s own pockets. After the landlord has given the tenant improvement funds to outfit a space, there is typically a surplus needed from within a company to pay for the build out. When doing a business analysis of the space, there is normally an equation of savings per partner for the various approaches to designing the space. With bringing in new strategies such as a hybrid plan, and making a business case that saves a firm real dollars, it goes a long way when trying to implement new strategies.
For more information surrounding Framery Pods and furniture solutions, please reach out to Brian Alvarez at MOI - Balvarez@moii.com .