Few things can cause immediate headaches as swiftly as the prospect of legal woes. The time, research and money that has to go into it, and not to mention the paragraphs of legal jargon that are at once both mind-numbing and boggling, can send even the calmest and most stoic of us into a hyperventilating panic attack. A savvy business mind in the Silicon Valley realized this and opened up a brick-and-mortar legal office slash bookstore slash library slash internet bar simply dubbed: LegalForce.

Located on University Avenue in Palo Alto, LegalForce is a one-stop shop that is the first of its kind. A little quirky, LegalForce is a convenience that we have not seen before. There are internet stations that allow you to do your own research and perusing, but there are licensed attorneys for hire as well for a rate of $45 per 15 minutes. Meet with one of the attorneys for a quick clarification, or if you’re looking for more in-depth consultation, you also have the option to make an appointment. Don’t have any legal matters? Besides being thankful for your good luck, you can still stop by and browse the titles on display that range from magazines to children’s books to the latest best-sellers. And if you especially like one of the 2,000 titles available (or one of the tablet devices on display), feel free to purchase it.

That’s already pretty impressive, but as most things in life go, it’s not just about what it has to offer, but its aesthetic that makes it so appealing. Unlike the usual law office, LegalForce is a bright and cheerfully displayed open space with futuristically minimalist lighting in white and golden orange. Along with long simple tables of white acrylic and reflective walls, pixilated rugs in shades of orange and an overall modern vibe of OCD neatness, you feel as if you’ve stepped into a real life, 3D internet search engine. Each ‘section’ is marked off with only a varying wall color and large acrylic letters to show distinction. It’s a clean and streamlined style with simple and angular but comfortable looking leather couches in mellow oranges and dove greys. Cubed shelves in oranges, greys and stark shiny white are positioned in between panels of light wood and slick white walls, housing the sparsely but prominently displayed products. Seating areas are also neat, clean and slightly futuristic spaces of white tables and angular chairs or feature couches, and simple armchairs and cubed ottomans in the recurring theme colors.


It’s not all sharp, sterile angles, though. The cheerful orange splashes and light wood accents make it an upbeat and welcoming place, while ‘Chattorney’ spaces are a cross between a living room and a happy psychologist’s office.  And much like the internet, this innovative space offers anything you could be looking for, from DIY searches, ask and answer options and ‘chatrooms’ with attorneys. With legal offices, libraries and even bookstores often conjuring up images of dark, dusty woods and an overall secretive and intimidating feel, being able to stop by a place that erases the fears and hesitation with its good-mood inducing colors and layout is a breath of fresh air. LegalForce is a service and store that has a disposition as sunny as the south Bay Area city it’s located in. This new type of brick and mortar one-stop service shop is definitely worth stopping into if you’re in the area, and while it’s an original idea that may be breaking new ground, we’re not that surprised that something so efficient and techno-savvy based came out of the Silicon Valley.

Text by Ida Hsiang