The Wall Street Journal recently reported on one law firm, Paul Hastings LLP,  that is exploring a new way of arranging its workers within its New York City office. The “open office” plan has been in vogue for years now, especially with startups and other companies wanting an energetic feel. For some industries, though, making the switch to this style requires efficient use of resources and low costs.

While Hastings isn’t the first firm to attempt this shift, it has gained attention for trying something that differs from others within its field. The head of the firm in charge of designing the space, Steven Martin, called it “pioneering,” although he noted that it reflects a trend far more common in the United Kingdom than the United States.

According to the Journal, sections of the Hastings office will be divided into “zones” starting next year, although employees in the open areas will still have some dividers separating their desks from others. Real estate professional Ken Rapp implied that the changes could spark similar trends for other law firms.

“The way it works in the legal industry, one or two do something, then the rest tend to follow after that,” he said.

This layout has some possible advantages, and even David Lat at Above The Law, who had an overall mixed reaction to Hastings’ changes, acknowledged that the firm could end up setting the example for others to follow.

If that does happen, law offices will need to combine customization with proper resourcing to limit the amount of capital and other expenses they have to expend. Used cubicles and new ones can be tailored to fit properly into a workplace and keep employees on task.