Important Contract Elements for the Freelance Legal Writer

freelancelegalwriterMany successful attorneys make extra money by drafting briefs for other attorneys. It can be a great way to get your name out there and net some nice cash, but there are a couple clauses you must have in your contract.

  1. Rate. There is a big difference between getting paid hourly and getting paid for a finished product. Especially if you are just starting out, an hourly rate is a better way to ensure you get paid for your time.
  2. Payment schedule. Do not assume they will hand over a check when you hand over the finished product. If you are only working freelance, you probably need the money faster, so put that in the contract.
  3. Responsibilities. Make the other party responsible for filing and serving the brief and all supporting documents. If they want you to do that, then charge more.
  4. Malpractice. The contract should say which malpractice insurance is covering you—hopefully the other firm’s. Including an indemnity clause is also a wise move.
  5. Deadline. At the very least, give your client a target date, if not an actual deadline for when you will complete the work.
  6. Costs. If the project requires travel time or any out of the ordinary expenses, put that in the contract. If you need to drive an hour to acquire an affidavit, you should be paid for that.

(photo: Olivander)

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