More and more attorneys are looking for remote legal jobs. And who can blame them?! The benefits of remote attorney jobs go beyond the allure of working in sweatpants, eliminating lengthy commutes, and avoiding awkward office chit chat by the watercooler.
The good news is law firms that embraced the technology that enabled remote lawyering in 2020 did more than just survive – they thrived. Moving forward to a post-pandemic world, there is no doubt that attorneys and law offices who continue to utilize legal technology for their staffing needs will continue to see success no matter where they are working.
This means that there are more remote work opportunities for associate attorneys than ever before. However, it can still be a challenge for some lawyers to find the type of freelance legal work they seek. When lawyers can’t find remote opportunities with law firms or in-house legal departments, they often turn to freelancing.
Whether you become a full-time freelance lawyer or freelance on the side to bring in additional income, a freelance career allows you to control your job type and workload. While starting out can be intimidating LAWCLERK has solutions to the challenges presented when becoming a successful freelance lawyer.
Benefits of Freelance Legal Work
The benefits of freelancing are numerous but what it really comes down to is freedom. A freelance legal career allows you freedom to work on the projects you chose, when you want to work and where you want to work.
Freelancing can be a great way to bring in extra-income for attorneys who stay at home to take care of loved ones, law professors with extra time or any solo attorney that wants to bring in additional income as it gives you the freedom to set your own hours. Freelancers for the most part can work when it’s most convenient for them whether that be evenings after children go to bed, summers when classes are no longer in session, or weekends. Freelancing gives you control of your work schedule, and as long as deadlines are met, you choose when you work.
Choosing to freelance allows you to choose the type of work you take on. There are unlimited options when it comes to remote legal work. For those that prefer the legal research and writing aspects of the job, freelancing is a great option. There are numerous writing opportunities out there for all experience levels. For those attorneys with less years of experience there are many opportunities for document review, categorization, and case summary projects. For more experienced attorneys there are opportunities for motion and appeal drafting as well as transactional drafting projects of legal documents such as contracts and wills. Whether your preference leans toward transactional law or litigation the writing projects available to freelance attorneys are endless.
Freelance opportunities also allow you to learn new practice areas. There are plenty of remote legal jobs that allow you to perform junior level lawyer work in various practice areas like family law, civil litigation and personal injury. By performing these jobs you get legal experience in these areas and can learn these areas of law to either add to your own practice or use that work experience to gain access to additional remote work in that area.
One of the greatest benefits of a freelance legal career is that a licensed attorney can work from anywhere. Whether you prefer the comfort of working from your own home, or you want to travel the world, you no longer need to be at a desk in New York, Atlanta, Los Angles or wherever you have traditionally worked. Freelancing and remote legal work allows you to work from anywhere you can find power and a wi-fi connection.
Freelancing is also a great tool for those attorneys looking to start their own practice. While building a practice and creating a book of business, you may not initially have enough work to keep you busy. Freelancing and other remote legal jobs are a great way to supplement your income while operating your own firm. When business is slower you can pick up freelance legal projects and when business picks up, you can focus on your own practice (and even outsource some of your own work!).
Finally, freelancing is a great option for those who want improved work/life well-being. Many attorneys in private practice grow tired of the extreme workloads, never-ending deadlines, and non-stop demands of clients. Many attorneys leave private practice but they do not want to leave the practice of law entirely. For attorneys looking to find a better work/life balance while still utilizing their legal knowledge, a full-time freelance career allows them to do that and control exactly how much they work.
LAWCLERK Can Help You Build Your Freelance Career
We have discussed the benefits of remote legal jobs and a legal freelancing career, now let’s talk about how LAWCLERK can help you along your journey to find remote lawyer work.
Like with any new venture beginning a freelance career, either full-time or part-time, can be intimidating and may present challenges as you are starting out. LAWCLERK has a solution to many, if not all, of these challenges.
One of the greatest challenges is figuring out where to find remote legal jobs and many attorneys don’t know where to start. LAWCLERK provides a marketplace for attorneys to find freelance work in all areas of law, for all experience levels. Work opportunities can be searched based upon your preferred practice area, preferred jurisdiction and even the type of work to be performed whether it’s research or some form of writing.
Through LAWCLERK you can even set notifications to get alerts when jobs in your preferred practice area are posted. LAWCLERK allows you to apply to join the team of a hiring attorney so that attorney can easily find you to work on future projects they post on LAWCLERK. With LAWCLERK the work comes to you.
So now you know that LAWCLERK brings the work to you, but you may not know that LAWCLERK offers two different ways for you to work on the platform.
Project Based Work
The first option is traditional project by project work. Hiring attorneys will create job postings to the LAWCLERK marketplace. If LAWCLERK thinks you will be interested in the jobs based upon your preferences, then you will receive email alerts about the projects. If you do not want to wait for the job alerts, the marketplace is open for all LAWCLERK users to review at any time. You can search for projects in specific practice areas or simply browse all currently available project postings.
One benefit of project work is that it allows remote lawyers to gain legal experience in practice areas they may not be as familiar with. This is great for solo practitioners looking to expand their fields of practice.
Project work also offers the greatest amount of flexibility, allowing you to choose your preferred project type, deadlines that match your work schedule and the number of projects. In turn this helps you manage the quantity of working hours you take on.
If more stability while still working in a freelance capacity is what you’re after, LAWCLERK’s subscription program is the way to go. Through LAWCLERK’s subscription program a hiring attorney can post a job for a remote associate to work with them on an on-going basis anywhere from 20-160 hours a month based upon the hiring attorney’s needs. This remote attorney position continues forward on a monthly basis for as long as the two parties continue to want to work together.
Freelance virtual associates are paid every two weeks assuming they have met their hour requirements. They work directly with the hiring attorney to receive their projects and assignments. While this subscription program offers less control over the types of projects and work you will receive, it does allow you the freedom to still work from anywhere at any time. It also provides a much steadier stream of income over that of traditional piecemeal freelance work.
When you sign up to be a freelancer with LAWCLERK you create a profile. In the process of creating your profile you will provide proof of your law school graduation, juris doctorate, bar membership, and that you are in good standing with your state bar.
Your profile is a way to market yourself as an ideal candidate to potential hiring attorneys. Your profile allows you showcase your legal experience and expertise. You are able to upload a photograph of yourself, your resume, and a writing sample as well as a professional biography. Building a thorough and professional profile with LAWCLERK can help you get selected for more projects by the hiring attorneys no matter if you’ve traditionally worked as a litigation attorney or in-house counsel.
For profile pictures, we recommend professional clothing in a style similar to a headshot. Professional bios should be a summary of your legal expertise and what makes you a great freelancer. When drafting your professional bio keep in mind that hiring attorneys will have access to your resume so your bio should not be a recitation of your resume. The bio is a great place to spotlight the primary legal issues that you have handled and how you have worked as part of a legal team in the past.
When editing your resume for LAWCLERK, we recommend highlighting your drafting and research work as these will be the main tasks you are hired for. Also include any practice areas you have experience with and the extent of that experience in each of those areas; this will make it easier for you to apply for projects in all different practice areas. Finally, we recommend periodically updating your resume to include your freelance projects and subscriptions. Keeping your resume up to date is the best way to show hiring attorneys just how right you are for the remote position.
Another challenge presented by starting your freelance career is determining what rates to charge for remote, contract attorney legal work.
You may prefer to charge a flat-rate fee per project. This can give you and the hiring attorney certainty about the budget for the work. In order to do this, you should estimate how long you anticipate the project to take and determine an acceptable amount to compensate you for that time. Your rate my depend upon your experience level, the legal market in your jurisdiction, the cost of living where you reside and any number of other factors.
The other option is to bill yourself out at an hourly rate for your work. Again, the factors for determining your hourly rate often include things like experience level, market rates in your jurisdiction and the complexity of the work you are to perform. Making this decision can be challenging but thankfully LAWCLERK takes the guess work out of pricing as well.
If you are working on a project through LAWCLERK, all projects are posted at a flat rate making it very clear how much you will be compensated for any project you are interested in. There are no hidden fees or costs, the rate which appears in the posting is the amount you will be paid for your work. This transparency in rates allows you the freedom to select those projects which meet your needs and know that you will be paid.
LAWCLERK’s Subscription program also makes it easy to get paid with tier level pricing. Hiring attorneys will post on-going, remote attorney positions at one of three hourly rates $52.50, $70.00 or $100.00. The various rates are based upon the experience level the hiring attorney is looking to retain with a senior attorney being paid the highest rates.
As a legal professional you can appreciate the importance of ensuring you have an agreement in place between you and the hiring attorney to ensure a smooth working relationship. LAWCLERK provides agreements for all of its subscription placements, as well as terms of service which govern everyone using the platform.
Another challenge associated with a freelance legal career is ensuring that you get paid and handling any disputes regarding work product. When you work through LAWCLERK you will get paid for the work you complete. While we never expect any issues to arise, should there be a dispute as to work product LAWCLERK has systems in place to ensure the disputes are handled fairly.
Remote Work Tools
Once you accept work through LAWCLERK there are additional resources to help you succeed. LAWCLERK’s dashboard features a document sharing tool which allows you to exchange documents with the hiring attorney you are working with. This is where initial and final drafts can be submitted to the to the hiring attorney. This is also where the hiring attorney can provide documents you need to complete your project or subscription.
Given the remote nature of freelancing, communication is more important than ever. No matter which method of communication you prefer we built LAWCLERK to make communication as easy as possible. Under your subscription dashboard, you have the option to use the LAWCLERK chat box for quick questions or status updates. LAWCLERK also provides you with the hiring attorney’s phone number and email address for easy access.
LAWCLERK also makes it very convenient to have an audio or video call with the hiring attorney. Within your subscription dashboard you can see whether the hiring attorney is online and if so, you can initiate a video or audio call immediately without the need for additional programs, applications, or links.
Whether you choose to freelance full-time or part-time, LAWCLERK makes it easy to build a freelance career. With no monthly fees, you can enjoy all the benefits LAWCLERK has to offer without any risk.
At LAWCLERK, we understand the legal industry is changing. Many attorneys prefer to work from home and remote work opportunities are on the rise. In many ways, the traditional methods of conducting a job search – like perusing a newspaper’s “help wanted” ads, are obsolete. It takes skill, expertise, and creativity to land a legal job in today’s world.
Ready to launch your own freelance career? When you’re ready to talk about remote attorney work, we are here for you. Schedule a demo or reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (888) 479-5728.