I've heard it more than once. The dismay in someone's voice when they discover that my office is located in downtown Minneapolis. Why? Do they really have to come downtown to work with me on their estate plan? Isn't it dangerous?
No. And no.
It's not just nostalgia for the '90s that keeps me coming downtown. Honestly, it's the opportunity to share office space with some of the nicest people around. (And yes, these people are lawyers!) Whenever a client needs witnesses to sign a will or trust, my colleagues are always willing to pop in to the conference room and help out. I also enjoy having folks around I can bounce ideas off of, or ask for advice in tricky situations (while maintaining client confidences, of course.) Plus, downtown is still centrally located and quick to get to from all corners of the metro.
Clients generally 'meet' with me initially by phone or via email. After that, some people want to meet in person, but most (due to busy schedules) prefer to meet via Zoom. If you live on the western side of St. Paul or the eastern side of Minneapolis, and can meet first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, I can usually meet in your home on may way to or from the office. (Coffee shops aren't great because of privacy concerns.) While I'm drafting and revising documents, quick phone calls and emails usually work well to share information.
When it's time to execute (sign, witness, and notarize) documents, we do need to meet up in person (for now. The Electronic Wills Act went into effect August 1, 2023, but the logistics and costs of various software products are still unclear). Which is why I'm happy to tell you that during business hours, with an office across from the Federal Courthouse and kitty-corner from City Hall, I've never experienced or witnessed anything even slightly 'scary'. Just a bunch of boring people on their way to and from wherever it is they need to be.
Parking is usually available at a meter outside my building, or in the Haaf Municipal Parking Ramp next door - which is the cleanest ramp I've ever been in. (Almost every morning I say 'hello' to the janitor who is mopping the floor with lemon-scented cleaner outside the elevators.) Other folks parking in the Haaf Ramp include employees from City Hall, the Federal Courthouse, or Wells Fargo.
All that to say:
(1) No, you don't necessarily have to come downtown;
(2) There are some really great people here; and
(3) If you're coming to my office, it will be during business hours with easy parking, in a perfectly boring part of town.