A week or so ago, I had to do (gasp!) legal work. Well, legal research. As a busy dude with lots going on, particularly in the last few weeks, I wasn’t too stoked about trying to find the time to do something that, to be honest, I wasn’t all that stoked about doing in the first place.

That’s when it dawned on me: What if I could outsource the legal work? And, of course, since I work with the good folks here on LAWCLERK, I knew just where to go.

Or so I thought.

Even as I began the easy process of posting my project on LAWCLERK, I still had questions. So, I thought I’d share those with you all, here, (and how I resolved them or tried to resolve them) to show you how easy it can be to use an outsourced attorney in general and on LAWCLERK.

First thing I had to figure out what exactly to outsource. The project itself entailed researching a rule of professional conduct in a number of different states. This included finding and saving a link to the relevant rule online and researching the rule and identifying and saving any applicable commentary on the rule. Then, I needed to analyze the content I found and come up with some kind of conclusion about what the rules said and how my consulting clients needed to proceed as a result.

So, looking at this project, I realized that, at least as far as my time was concerned, the important part wasn’t finding the rule and related commentary in each state so much as reading and assessing the rules and commentary once they had been found. Beyond that, the finding itself was probably likely to be a fairly tedious and routinized task. Finally, since most if not all of the information that I sought was on the public internet, access to a paid legal research provider was probably not required. So, it seemed to make sense to outsource finding and organizing the information.

The next question was how much to charge. In thinking about this question I got a good tip from LAWCLERK Co-Founder Kristin Tyler to spend a bit of time doing a some of the research to get a sense for how long it would take. Then, once I’d done that, it would be easier to guess about how long it might take someone else to finish the job.

I jumped in to the research and right away I found a guide by the ABA that would make finding the applicable rule and related commentary much easier. Armed with that and a few stabs at research I had not only a good sense of how long it would take someone else to do the project but I had a great sense of how to tell them to go about doing most of it, which would also save them the time of learning how to do the project.

The next step was logging into LAWCLERK posting the project and waiting. I did that and very quickly I had a number of quality applicants, I selected one, and in the span of just a few days I had the work done. The work product was excellent and it saved me a bunch of time.

I know you’re thinking that this post sounds like an advertisement for LAWCLERK. In response, I’d say: well, you are here on their blog, after all. Second, however, I’d also mention that beyond how easy the LAWCLERK platform is to use the key here, in my opinion, is getting over the fears and challenges of figuring out how to scope your outsourced project and what to charge for it. As I’ve written here a bunch, I really do believe that marketplaces like LAWCLERK are going to change the way lawyers get their work done. Matching willing buyers and sellers across not only cities and counties but also states and countries is an amazing and powerful thing. And it can make your life, whether you like doing or want to do legal work or not, a lot easier too.

Dan Lear

Dan Lear


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