Kimberly Alderman’s book The Freelance Lawyering Manual has been lauded as “current and comprehensive — addition to the emerging body of work on freelance law.” As a guide for attorneys trying to sell themselves as a freelance attorney I thought the book fell a little short. But that didn’t diminish its value for the overworked small firm or solo attorney who needs a little extra help.
Becoming a Freelance Lawyer
One of the nice things about this book is that Alderman doesn’t sugarcoat it. As someone that is in the process of opening a law firm, I can wholly agree with two things Alderman points out right off the bat. First, business won’t fall in your lap. You have to get out there and hustle. You may not like it, but you have to sell yourself to your audience. Secondly, unless you’re putting out quality content, you won’t get referrals or repeat customers. Just because you can work from home in your pajamas doesn’t mean it’s not work.
Those important caveats were a great way for Alderman to begin the book and help people figure out if freelance lawyering was something they should be doing.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of the section directed at freelance lawyers felt a little flat and a little dated. As she explains in the introduction, the book “is designed to help you navigate the murky waters of freelance legal practice by answering the most common questions, as well as those you never thought to ask.” There is more emphasis on the most common questions in this book. As a result, most of the information in the $45 book is freely available online.
Even as a new attorney, I found that I had already read and considered almost everything in the first third of the book aimed at attorneys looking to open their own freelance practice.
Hiring a Freelance Lawyer
The second part of the book was much more valuable. For a solo attorney that needs some extra help on the side, Alderman covers helpful topics like:
- Screening potential freelance attorneys
- Telling your client about the freelance lawyer
- Supervising freelance lawyers
Most importantly, she addresses the cost advantages of hiring a freelance lawyer. Now that I’ve worked with several attorneys on a freelance basis, I can see that it’s a beneficial relationship for everyone involved. The book offers explanations that freelance attorneys can use as talking points when they’re selling the idea of a freelance attorney to a potential client.
Who Should Buy The Freelance Lawyering Manual?
The name of the book seems to be aimed at freelance lawyers and not attorneys hiring freelance lawyers. But the latter will benefit the most from this book. The last two thirds of the book can be very beneficial to solo and small firm attorneys looking for a little extra help.
Reviewed by Josh Camson on .
Summary: This book is a good purchase for those who want to hire someone to do their boring work. But if you want to become a freelance lawyer, just use Google.
Overall rating: 3 (out of 5)