Many experienced attorneys are looking for alternative ways to practice law. It could be for a myriad reasons. For example, the attorney may have just had a baby and wants to work remotely part-time, or is a retired partner but still wants to practice in a flexible manner, or may have outside hobbies and interests and don’t want to work full-time. These attorneys are often referred to as freelance attorneys. These freelance attorneys will work with law firms and solo practitioners nationwide on a project-basis for when they need help with overflow work and other resourcing challenges. It is great work because of the flexibility of working remotely and part-time.
If you are a freelance attorney, marketing yourself and finding work can seem daunting. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you decide to look for work as a freelance attorney.
Join a freelance network
One of the best ways to get work is to join a freelance network, such as Intermix Legal Group. These networks often have requirements such as a minimum number of years of work experience, and may require that you have some BigLaw or medium-size law firm experience. Freelance legal networks are great because they do all the marketing, billing, and collection for their attorneys, so the attorneys can just focus on doing the work.
Touch base with old colleagues
Another great way to get work as a freelance attorney is to touch base with old colleagues to see if they need additional help. You may be surprised to find out a lot of your old colleagues may have started their own firms or joined smaller firms, and they could use an extra hand occasionally. Just letting them know you are available is good because while they may not have work for you that second, they may down the road. This route takes a little bit of patience but it’s a reliable way to get work.
Contact small/solo shops
Another way I always tell freelance attorneys to find work is by contacting small law firms or solo practitioners that are in the same practice area that they’re in. One of the best places to meet attorneys that either have their own firms or run small firms is at bar association meetings in the jurisdiction you are in. Most state bars have solo or small firm committees or groups that hold meetings either monthly or bi-monthly. If you attend these meetings you can get to know the attorneys and let them know who you are and that you are available for freelance work. Again this may not get you immediate results, but the networking is invaluable and the work will come.
The final way to market yourself as a freelance attorney is via social media. Social media is great because it allows you to meet people from all around the US without leaving your computer. Follow solo practitioners or small law firms in your practice area on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and you may see an opportunity to contact them for work eventually. There are lots of great books written for lawyers on how to use Social Media. Freelance attorneys can really benefit by taking a look at these resources to see how to best market themselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leila Kanani is a patent attorney with over a decade of experience in the top IP firms. She then founded her own patent boutique law firm. After realizing the staffing challenges solo and small firms faced when they had too much work, but not enough to hire full time associates, she founded Intermix Legal Group. The freelance attorneys at Intermix are all ones that left traditional firm life for career flexibility and they provide temporary legal services to law firms nationwide.