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The Western New York legal community is about to get a bit more crowded.
Albany-based Tully Rinckey PLLC plans to open an office in January in downtown Buffalo.
The law firm currently employs 40 attorneys in offices in Albany, Syracuse, Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C.
Founding partner Mathew Tully said the firm had been scouting locations for another office after opening one in Virginia in early 2011. Buffalo has long been on its radar, he said.
“We spent about 18 months researching the various Upstate locations and we thought Syracuse would be the best location for managerial purposes. We opened that office in July,” he said.
Growth there and in other offices prompted the firm to bump up the Buffalo opening from April 2013 to the first of the year.
Said Tully: “Traditionally we avoid downtown areas, but in Buffalo we are changing up our business model and (opening) downtown.”
He said he is still a few weeks out from signing a lease. The decision to open a city office was driven in part by a desire to build an immigration practice here.
“We wanted to be close to the immigration courts and the county courts, and this location allows us to do that,” he said.
The firm initially expects to have three to five attorneys. Tully took what he called a “shock and awe” approach to find legal professionals, mailing out 5,469 letters to practicing attorneys in the region.
“That’s how we did it in Albany and Syracuse. And because it’s a unique approach in this business, we have seen success,” he said. “The letter generates talk in the legal community and a great deal of buzz, which helps with our recruiting.”
He added: “We are planning to be at 15 attorneys in the Buffalo office at the three-year mark. So this is long-range marketing, as well.”
In addition to immigration, the new office will focus on family and matrimonial law, criminal defense/DWI, bankruptcy and estate planning.
Tully said his firm’s research shows Western New York to be a region poised for growth.
He said he sees an upside to having a presence in the Queen City.
“Immigration is a national law practice, so we see our immigration attorneys in Buffalo supporting our attorneys in our other offices,” he said.
He sees that as being just one element that will ensure the growth and success of a local office.
“We are pretty comfortable with our business model and infrastructure,” Tully said, “and we expect to meet our numbers in terms of growth.”