Freelance work has only become more prominent in the United States. Over one-third of the working population freelances. And, freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion in annual earnings to the US economy in 2021. While most freelancers are in the tech world, there are also freelance marketing, consulting, and legal professionals. That’s right—freelance lawyers—and freelance legal networks—like LAWCLERK.

What is a Freelance Lawyer?

Freelance lawyers are those hired by another attorney, either directly or through a platform. They typically complete legal projects by the hour or for a flat fee. Many attorneys freelance to supplement their income or as a full-time career choice. You’ll find freelance attorneys with different backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Freelance lawyers can take on a number of different tasks. But, it’s easier to think of them as remote associates. They can conduct more substantive work, like research, drafting, or document prep. Freelancers can write blog posts, help write a CLE course, or perform more specialized tasks. They could assist with that tricky tax/immigration/administrative/mineral rights case. You could even hire a freelance attorney to go to court on your behalf! 

The Benefits of Freelance Lawyers

If you’re thinking of becoming a freelance attorney, the benefits are obvious. You have more control and flexibility over your schedule. You can say yes to doing only the type of work you like. And, you can work from home.

Hiring a freelance attorney has a lot of benefits as well. A freelance attorney help with overflow work (and allow you to bill for that time). You can also hire a freelance lawyer to free up time in your schedule so you can take on higher-paying projects. Some solo and small firm attorneys have seen over $7000 a month in additional revenue by using freelance lawyers. 

Considerations on Freelancing

So, freelancing sounds pretty good, but there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Malpractice Insurance. Does the freelance attorney have it? The hiring attorney should have sufficient insurance to cover a freelancer. And, the freelancer should also have their own to mitigate any potential risk.
  • Skill sets. Especially if you’re hiring a freelance attorney, make sure they have the proper skill set and experience to handle the task. 
  • Ethics Rules. Make sure you know your jurisdiction’s rules on hiring and using freelancers in your practice. There may be rules on advertising your services if you’re regularly using freelancers, multijurisdictional practice of law, or what you need to tell clients.
  • Overhead Costs. Freelancers need a reliable computer and internet connection. The work may require subscriptions to certain legal services or databases. Consider insurance and tax implications. 

Once you decide to hire a freelance attorney, you need to know where to find them. Many freelance attorneys have websites or build up their LinkedIn profiles. Others get work through word-of-mouth and referrals. You can also find freelance attorneys on general freelance job sites. 

Or, you can make it easier on yourself and use a specialized freelance legal network, like LAWCLERK.

LAWCLERK is a revolutionary legal services marketplace created by lawyers for lawyers, developed in response to the changing legal landscape. LAWCLERK helps solos and small firms produce a better product for clients while reducing client costs and increasing profits. 

Additionally, LAWCLERK connects attorneys to help foster a better and more reliable legal freelance network. LAWCLERK vets all attorneys on their platform on a consistent basis so you know you’re hiring someone in good standing. LAWCLERK is free to join for both freelancers and those looking to hire! Hiring attorneys only pay when they have a project or start a subscription.

In the video below, Kristin Tyler, of LAWCLERK, walks us through what it looks like to hire a freelance attorney through their platform. If you’d like to learn more, talk to one of the experts over at LAWCLERK and book a demo of the platform.

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Last updated October 7th, 2022