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TMI Associates: where the office enables communication
Not a typical law firm office
With warm lighting and colors, the entrance area generates a relaxing atmosphere. The stereotypical image of a law firm's office tends to be a bit cold and incorporates darker colors. However, while the office design of TMI Associates, which has been a resident of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower since 2003, is of a high quality, it has a very welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, pleasantly dispelling this stereotype. After passing through the entrance, the corridor extends along the curved wall of the rounded building, producing a gentle atmosphere. Through the office design, it is apparent that the firm aims to "create a client-friendly law firm." After searching for a new office location in order to increase its business, TMI Associates chose the Roppongi Hills area knowing that this area would encourage it to achieve its motto to "continue to take new challenges."
Best views for clients
TMI Associates office is located on the 23rd and 24th floors of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and it is roughly divided into two spaces; meeting space and office space. From the meeting rooms, located along the large windows of the floors, there is an impressive panoramic view of Tokyo, which always gives a great impression to its clients. The beautiful views also help attorneys start a smooth conversation with clients. The office has a variety of types of meetings rooms of differing sizes and atmospheres, allowing suitable options for meetings and discussions.
Its theme is "communication"
While aiming to be a unique law firm, TMI Associates is aware of the importance of communication in its office. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the firm has experienced rapid growth and it now has approximately. 500 employees, having started with only 40 people. Although its business continues to grow, the firm still focuses on the importance of face-to-face communication. The office is designed to allow for better communication amongst employees.
TMI Associates initially occupied only the 23rd floor when it first moved into Roppongi Hills. At that time, based on the idea to freely open the window areas to more people, it placed the partners' offices (attorneys / patent attorneys) in the center of the floor (the core of the building) and arranged employees' office space along the windows. This design evidences its stance to continue to take new challenges as it breaks away from the traditional layout in which attorneys' offices are placed by the windows with the best views. When the firm later extended its office space onto the 24th floor, it established a new concept to enhance the importance of communication, which remains as the current theme of the firm's style. In order to create open space to generate communication naturally, the firm moved the partner attorneys' offices, which had been at the core of the 23rd floor, to near the windows. With this arrangement, partner attorneys need to pass through the associates (young attorneys) when going to the elevators and buthrooms, which enables them to have more regular contact and become familiar with each other. Communication has been generated naturally and the staff now has a better understanding of each other's work. This design still maintains the privacy of each office but avoids having the offices isolated. Moreover, TMI Associates has an Open-Door Policy; the office doors must be open unless specifically needing to be closed. Its work environment, where the voices of partner attorneys and associates can easily be heard when talking on the phone, helps not only for lively communication but also for the training of young attorneys and produces a cheerful atmosphere in the office. In addition to partner attorney's offices, there are additional communication areas which employees can use for chatting during the workday. These areas have refreshing views from the windows and are often used by staff during lunchtime. The lights through the large windows give employees renewed energy for communication.
In the other areas, such as those near the copy machines and the large workbenches that are placed throughout the office, employees regularly gather to communicate with each other.
The open-plan office with no walls or pillars has a series of "shells (individual office space divided by screens)," where the associates and the staff engage in their work. The design of this space was also produced to allow closer communication amongst staff as each person has someone sitting right behind them. Such a unique office layout is a good example of the maximum use of the massive floor-plan of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (the area of the standard floor is 4,362.18 m²).
Succession of TMI culture
There is more. The uniqueness is still seen in the office as it produces the opportunity for all of the staff to see each other. As it occupies two floors now, the meeting room for clients is located on the 23rd floor and meeting rooms for staff are placed on the 24th floor. In this way, every staff member needs to visit each floor regularly, and so the communication between the different floors can be maintained. In addition to the carefully planned office layout, the firm publishes an in-house news letter and holds all-staff meetings every Monday morning. Although its business is expanding rapidly, it still organizes an annual overnight trip.
While the law-related environment has been significantly changed today, TMI Associates expects continued growth. No matter how much its business expands, its unbroken "TMI culture," which originated in the office, will be carried on into the future.
TMI Associates : http://www.tmi.gr.jp/