How It Works
LAWCLERK™ - Where Attorneys Go To Hire Freelance Lawyers
What Is LAWCLERK?
LAWCLERK was developed in response to the changing legal landscape to help solo practicioners and small firms produce a better product for their clients, while reducing client costs, and increasing attorney profits.
LAWCLERK is a revolutionary legal services marketplace created by lawyers for lawyers. LAWCLERK connects general practitioners and law firms that need assistance with skilled lawyers that chose to work on a freelance basis. We call the lawyers that need assistance - "Attorneys." We call the freelance lawyers that are providing their services - "Lawclerks." We refer to our incredibly talented freelance lawyers as “Lawclerks,” because despite being lawyers, they are providing services in a paraprofessional capacity. See our discussion below on ethical compliance for more information.
The process is very simple:
- Attorneys post any written work (such as memos, motions, pleadings, agreements, and discovery) that they need completed on LAWCLERK’s secure, proprietary marketplace available at http://www.lawclerk.legal.
- Talented freelance lawyers (Lawclerks) apply to provide their services and work on the projects.
To learn more, watch our video short video called "LAWCLERK EXPLAINED."
Are the Lawclerks U.S. lawyers?
The answer is simple - YES!
Why Are We Called LAWCLERK?
We chose the name LAWCLERK as our brand because we believe it accurately describes the services provided by our freelance lawyers. As we previously noted, our “Lawclerks” are freelance lawyers who provide legal services as paraprofessionals (as permitted by the ABA model rules) under the direct supervision of Attorneys barred and in good standing in their jurisdictions. Thus, the LAWCLERK marketplace provides a truly nationwide market for legal services because we are the only technology built to comply with each state’s ethical rules concerning the unauthorized practice of law.
Our Lawclerks are impressive freelance lawyers whose ranks include former partners of AM Law 100 firms, mid-level associates who took time off to raise a family or care for a parent, +20 year attorneys that are freelancing in their retirement, law school professors, former general counsel, recent law school graduates, and everyone in between. Click HERE to watch our short video about our fantastic Lawclerks.
Getting Started with LAWCLERK™ Is Fast, Easy, and Free.
Step 1. Sign up. It is absolutely free and takes less than two minutes. Click HERE to watch our short video that explains how to sign up in less than 90 seconds or less.
Step 2. If you are looking to hire, we will verify that you are a licensed attorney in good standing in your jurisdiction(s). If you are a lawyer that wants to work, we will verify that you have graduated from an ABA accredited law school or are barred and in good standing in your jurisdiction(s). This verification process often only takes a few minutes and never more than twenty-four hours.
Step 3. Once you have been verified, you can either post a project or apply for a project to complete. Click HERE to watch our video on how to post a project in less than 2 minutes.
LAWCLERK Allows Attorneys to Get Help with a Vast Array of Projects.
Through LAWCLERK, Attorneys can get help from skilled freelance lawyers on nearly any type of project and at any skill level. Here are just a few possibilities:
- Summary of the cases cited in an opposing party’s brief
- Legal research
- Legal memoranda
- Motions and other pleadings
- Discovery, including subpoenas, requests for documents, interrogatories, and requests for admission
- Discovery responses and pleadings, including motions to compel or motions for protective order
- Document review
- Deposition summaries
- Powers of attorney
- Corporate documents, including operating agreements, by-laws, and corporate resolutions
LAWCLERK Complies with the Ethical Rules.
LAWCLERK was developed by lawyers for lawyers. As such, we know how important it is to protect client confidentiality and to stay compliant with the ethical rules. This is why we spent more than a year and more than 10,000 development hours building our revolutionary technology to keep you secure and ethically compliant.
How do we do it? There are two key components. The first is our unique technology and the second is our use of freelance lawyers (Lawclerks) in a paraprofessional capacity. Our Lawclerks include former partners of AM Law 100 firms, mid-level associates who took time off to raise a family or care for a parent, +20 year attorneys that are freelancing in their retirement, law school professors, former general counsel, recent law school graduates, and everyone in between.
LAWCLERK allows Attorneys who need project-specific assistance from other lawyers to tap into this nationwide pool of talented freelance lawyers on a project by project basis without running into problems with the unauthorized practice of law. The reason is straightforward. Our Lawclerks work for the Attorney (not the Attorney’s clients) and only in a paraprofessional capacity. They draft agreements, complete document review, draft motions, prepare memoranda, and whatever else may be needed, all under the direct supervision of the Attorney. The key is that only the Attorney posting a project provides legal advice to her client, goes to court, and communicates with opposing counsel.
This is the cutting-edge solution that allows LAWCLERK to provide Attorneys nationwide help whenever they need it from experienced freelance lawyers. And LAWCLERK does it all while keeping both the Attorney and the Lawclerk compliant with their state’s ethical rules.
If you want more information on our ethical compliance, download our +100 page white paper, also available in the footer, or watch our video HERE.
Our Security and Conflicts Check Are Cutting Edge.
We also know how important security is and we spared no expense. We developed two separate layers for conflict checks. After a project is posted, the posting Attorney must provide her conflicts list for the project. After the Attorney selects a Lawclerk from the pool of Lawclerks that have applied for the project, the selected Lawclerk must then download and review the conflict rules for each state in which the Attorney that has posted the project is barred. After reviewing the applicable rules, the selected Lawclerk must then review the conflicts list posted by the Attorney and affirm that she does not have any conflict. LAWCLERK conflicts check technology is so advanced that the site can even block a Lawclerk from appearing as an available applicant if the Lawclerk previously completed a project where the posting Attorney’s client was listed as an adverse party in the prior project’s conflict list.
Additionally, we built an encrypted document repository to allow the Attorney and the Lawclerk to safely and securely share documents. But, before a Lawclerk can even access any of the documents provided by the Attorney in connection with the project, the Lawclerk must sign our Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement.
We have also built secure communication channels that allow the Attorney and the Lawclerk to communicate without email or text or even leaving our site. Our system is so secure that it is impossible for our employees to even access the files and communications.
As a final security measure, we maintain our data through Amazon web services because of their cutting edge technology. Amazon web services houses the data of international banks, hospitals, universities, NASDAQ, and even NASA. And now, we have added LAWCERK to this impressive list.
For more information, review the Lawclerk.Legal Corporation Terms of Service, also available in the footer, or watc our video HERE.
Your Identity Is Entirely Confidential.
We know the importance of privacy and confidentiality and that is why we have taken every measure to protect your privacy and confidentiality when you use our marketplace.
- Only lawyers can log-in and use LAWCLERK. The public has absolutely no access to the identity of the Attorneys and Lawclerks using the LAWCLERK marketplace.
- As a Lawclerk, your profile is only visible when you apply for a project. And, even when you have applied for a project, your profile may only be viewed by the Attorney that posted the project during the application period. Thus, as a Lawclerk, you have 100% control over what Attorneys see your profile.
- As an Attorney posting a project, your profile is only visible to the Lawclerks that are considering applying for the project. As soon as you have selected a Lawclerk to complete your project, your profile is no longer viewable until you post another project.
Our Rating System Provides Confidence in Selecting a Project or a Lawclerk.
We have designed a two-way rating system that allows Lawclerks and Attorneys to rate, which ratings are included in the Lawclerks and Attorneys' profiles. Thus, before applying for a project, Lawclerks may view the posting Attorney's prior ratings and before selecting an applicant for a project, the Attorney may view the Lawclerks' prior ratings.
Attorneys are rated on a scale of one to five stars. Lawclerks are rated as "Did Not Meet Expectations," "Met Expectations," and "Exceeded Expectations" and comments may be provided as well.
How Does Payment and Tax Reporting Work?
Once a project is assigned to a Lawclerk, the Attorney’s credit card is charged the project price, which is held by Braintree pending completion of the project. Braintree is a third-party payment processing company. Braintree holds the funds and only releases them upon the earlier of: (i) the Attorney’s acceptance of the Lawclerk’s submitted project; or (ii) 96 hours after the Lawclerk has submitted the final project and the Attorney has neither accepted the project, extended the 96-hour review period for a second 96 hours (which can only be unilaterally extended one time by the Attorney), nor commenced a Dispute Resolution Procedure (discussed below).
LAWCLERK also handles all tax reporting. Unlike when an attorney hires a full-time associate, with LAWCLERK, there are no W-2s or payroll taxes. Instead, the project price is an expense for the Attorney to deduct or otherwise treat consistent with her other expenses. Then, at the end of the fiscal year, LAWCLERK provides each freelance Lawclerk that worked on a project with a Form 1099-MISC for the payments she receives for the independent contractor services she has provided through LAWCLERK that fiscal year.
What Happens If I Have a Dispute?
While our experience is that Attorneys and Lawclerks are quite pleased with the ease of use and the work product received, we understand that occasionally a dispute may arise and we have established a dispute center to expeditiously resolve the dispute.
Both Attorneys and Lawclerks using LAWCLERK may refer a dispute regarding a project or otherwise to LAWCLERK’s Dispute Center. Upon referral to the Dispute Center, the dispute and all information provided to the Arbitrator by the Attorney and the Lawclerk will be reviewed by LAWCLERK’s arbitrator who will adjudicate the dispute and determine how the dispute will be resolved.
Within five business days of the Arbitrator’s final determination of the dispute, the payment price or such lesser amount as the Arbitrator determines is appropriate after reviewing the available facts and information, shall be returned to the prevailing Attorney or Lawclerk.
More information regarding the Dispute Center is available in Section E of Lawclerk.Legal Corporation Terms of Service, also available in the footer.