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Law Firms Squeezed for Space. Here's Why.

It's getting tougher for law firms to find the space they need in Seattle and Bellevue, JLL managing director Steve Schwartz, in the company's Bellevue office, tells us. The impact of tech companies making do with traditional space is one reason. "The lack of creative space in tech submarkets like South Lake Union and Fremont is forcing more tech firms to migrate to the CBDs, pushing up prices and tenant competition,” Steve says.

Nowhere is the trend more apparent than in core Seattle and Bellevue markets, where space is tight and rents have skyrocketed. According to the recently released JLL 2015 Law Firm Outlook, rents rose an average of 9% in both areas the last 12 months, and the markets will see a further 6% rise over the next 12 months. Eventually, the markets' tightness will loosen as more projects come out of the ground, but until then, law firms will have to be more proactive to get the space they need, Steve says.