As the legal profession changes to meet the needs of the market, the freelance attorney gets a fresh perspective on the legal profession as they pursue new professional objectives, and their proportions have been increasing in the major US legal markets for many years.
A freelance lawyer has much more control and freedom over their legal practices than the majority of solo attorneys. Additionally, since freelance lawyers are independent contractors employed by other attorneys to perform legal work on a contract-by-contract basis, establishing a freelancing practice is very simple. Acquiring overflow work as a freelance lawyer is another excellent method to augment income during difficult times.
Some of the misunderstandings come from the historical perception of a contract attorney. Usually, a contract attorney is hired by a legal services organization to work on large-scale projects in exchange for hourly pay.
In comparison, a freelance attorney is an accomplished attorney who is engaged directly by some other legal to concentrate on a particular aspect of a case or transaction.
As freelancers, professional lawyers establish their own legal firms and are responsible for scheduling their own hours, obtaining their own clients, and generating their own revenue. Freelance lawyers represent many facets of the legal community, including large law firms, in-house counsel, government positions, the public sector, and solo practice.
Typically, independent lawyers with five or more years of experience practicing law want the freedom that is not offered in the majority of conventional legal jobs.
The desire for a more flexible schedule can be motivated by a variety of academic and interpersonal circumstances, such as caring for young children or elderly parents, beginning or continuing to grow a solo profession, relocating with a spouse who is mandated to resettle for work, or starting or growing a side business outside of the legal industry. These lawyers seek freelance employment in order to maintain their practice of law on their own terms.
The foundation of freelance employment is flexibility and control – freelance attorneys are free to choose work that fascinates them and submit tasks according to their own schedules and accessibility.
The majority of freelance lawyers specialize in a particular field of law and provide their knowledge to other attorneys who need assistance with a case involving a transaction, or project.
The partnership is mutually beneficial and based on flexibility — the employing attorney offers occasional labor and compensation, while the freelancing lawyer provides assistance and final output as required.
A contract with a freelance attorney must be in writing. This may be discussed prior to the recruiting client’s last phone call and updated officially after all parties have agreed on the conditions.
The agreement should explicitly describe the project’s conditions for all parties involved, covering ethical and legal concerns, and safeguard the freelancing attorney’s and hiring attorney’s interests. Generally, a simple two- or three-page contract will be sufficient.
A self-employed attorney must have a marketing plan. Although the ultimate customer whether large firms, sole practitioners, in-house law firms, or government organizations will influence strategic marketing, a few basic concepts apply to every independent lawyer.
A business card and an internet presence are the two most fundamental marketing tools. Using a number of online print options, creating a great business card is extremely simple and inexpensive. Additionally, if building a website is not within a freelancing attorney’s original budget, establishing a genuine and professional online presence via LinkedIn is sufficient.
Apart from marketing tools, networking and referrals are critical components of promoting freelance employment. Given that freelancing attorneys’ clientele are other attorneys, it’s natural that they’d need to meet and establish connections with a range of attorneys on a regular basis.
Each networking opportunity should be pursued in order to develop and maintain good connections. If other lawyers and referral partners are unaware that you are available for freelancing work, they will be unable to recommend you to potential clients.
Each introduction to a new attorney is a possible source of work. And if a new customer seeks freelancing assistance, going above and above on the job will lay the groundwork for a recommendation.
Generally, a pleased employing attorney would gladly provide the contact details for a freelancer who does an excellent job. In the freelance lawyer industry, word-of-mouth referrals are the gold standard – lawyers in need of assistance are more likely to hire a highly regarded and trusted freelancer.