Take A Tour of Orrick’s New LA Offices Designed By Unispace

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Chair Of The Month

Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.

Orrick’s new Los Angeles workspace set an example for what the future of law offices looks like post-pandemic.

International law firm, Orrick’s has a goal to become the the most inclusive law firm in the industry. When designing their LA office, they worked with Unispace to create a space where everyone belongs. They wanted their new LA office to be a manifestation of their existing culture, centered around:

  • Collaboration in a meaningful way for 100+ staff, where offices are organized around suites of collaboration spaces that support true learning and mentoring vs. learning in the partners’ office doorway.
  • Innovation that meshes knowledge gained via staff feedback, at all levels, who worked virtually for 2+ years to create highly functional and tech-enabled hybrid spaces.
  • Inclusion through universal design principles that create equitable office sizes for all attorneys with a lack of hierarchy (i.e., no corner offices), access to natural light in all spaces, and accessibility features ranging from braille signage to gender neutral bathrooms.
  • Community Impact enhanced by Orrick’s Social Justice Fellowship that partners with organizations like A New Way of Life (ANWOL) and artists like Robert Vargas to truly walk the walk on DEIB.
  • Sustainability through pursuing LEED GOLD and WELL certification to support Orrick’s global carbon neutral goals.

Project Overview:

  • Design Firm: Unispace
  • Client: Orrick
  • Completion Date: October 2022
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Size: 26,000 sqft
  • Population: 100
  • Certifications: LEED GOLD

Starting with strategy, Unispace centered the space around how Orrick’s staff would function in a truly hybrid environment, with all the technology and spaces to support a 21st century law practice. Unispace also worked with Orrick to help them grow their Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) goals, which ultimately translated into the Art for Impact program that they launched in their LA space and are now implementing in other locations.

With this approach, the design creates an art-filled space that is inherently inclusive with collaboration technology in every room, and multi-use accessible spaces for people that are differently abled, including wheelchair accessibility (height of fixtures, appliances, etc.), sight impaired (braille), and neurodiversity (quiet spaces, different colors in rooms, etc.). By incorporating single-size offices, new ideas like micro-offices, new community work areas, and embracing hoteling to reflect the new hybrid work style, Orrick was able to reduce its footprint by approximately 60%.

Unispace’s construction team was engaged from day one and delivered the project on budget, even through complex supply chain and pandemic challenges. Orrick’s office carries a statement for other law firms in the industry and creates a benchmark and message to them: you need to walk the walk to compete in the future. 

Project Planning

Orrick’s leadership participated in the project planning. They had the foresight to evolve their office with insights gained during the pandemic on the best practices for virtual work and collaboration, and embraced unexpected learnings from Unispace’s strategy and analytics engagement, leading to an innovative future office.

The engagement led Unispace to create a floor plan that supported 100 people in 65 hoteling spaces, enabled partners to share offices, and included technology allowing people to book spaces at the door.

Project Details

To create a culture of inclusion and to allow Orrick’s staff and clients to see themselves and others reflected in the new office, Unispace partnered Orrick with Robert Vargas, an iconic LA-based contemporary artist, through their Art for Impact program. Vargas painted two original murals in the office to reflect the diverse population of downtown LA and the client’s deep partnership with the nonprofit A New Way of Life (ANWOL), which provides housing, case management, pro-bono legal services, advocacy, and leadership development for formerly incarcerated women. The first mural, titled “The Power of a Second Chance,” highlights ANWOL founder Susan Burton and confident women shown in profile, facing forward together, breaking the cycle. The second mural, titled ”It’s All About Love,” depicts re-entry into the community and a mother re-bonding with her child, sparking their connection the way they did at birth.


Overall Project Results

Orrick’s two office murals by Robert Vargas totaling over 35’ coupled with the overall community engagement story of the Art for Impact project has had a deep impact on staff, visitors, and clients. The office’s overall success has led to Unispace doing additional work across Orrick’s portfolio.

Project Summary

Photography credit

Lawrence Anderson

Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.
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