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Revising Your Engagement Agreement for Use of Lawclerks

By Kristin Tyler
May 29, 2018

All attorneys know the importance of a detailed engagement agreement between themselves and their client. These agreements set forth the scope of work and expectations.

If you are using freelance lawyers – aka Lawclerks – through the LAWCLERK marketplace, then you should update your engagement agreement to make sure the scope of the agreement covers the use of a Lawclerk. LAWCLERK requires the attorney to supervise the Lawclerk and to maintain responsibility for the Lawclerk’s work product in compliance with the ABA Model Rules. The Lawclerk only works for the Attorney on discrete legal projects in a paraprofessional capacity.

If you are a solo attorney, perhaps you could use the following sample language in your standard agreement:

          I will be the attorney in charge of the relationship with you and my hourly rate is currently $___. However, I may allocate and assign work among paralegals, other paraprofessionals and legal assistants in a manner which I believe to be most efficient. Time worked by lawclerks, paralegals, project assistants, investigators or other full-time or contract paraprofessionals will be charged at billing rates ranging from $___ to $___ per hour. These billing rates are subject to change annually and the Client will be notified of any changes to those billing rates whether directly or by invoice.

If you are part of a firm with other attorneys, this language may be a better sample as you revise your agreement:

          The principal basis for computing our fees will be the amount of time spent on the Matter by various lawyers and legal assistants multiplied by their hourly billing rates. I will be the attorney in charge of the relationship with you and my hourly rate is currently $___. However, the Matter may be supervised by another attorney at the Firm. In any event, the Firm will allocate and assign work among our partners, associates, paralegals, other paraprofessionals and legal assistants in a manner which we believe to be most efficient. Our current rates for attorneys range from $___ per hour to $___ per hour. Time devoted by lawclerks, paralegals, project assistants, investigators or other full-time or contract paraprofessionals are charged at billing rates ranging from $___ to $___ per hour. These billing rates are subject to change annually and the Client will be notified of any changes to those billing rates whether directly or by invoice.

LAWCLERK helps you get the right legal talent when and how you need it. Learn more at www.lawclerk.legal.

 

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