This is a guest post by Talitha Gray Kozlowski and Kristin Tyler, co-founders of LAWCLERK.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day – even Beyoncé. How silly would it be if Beyoncé spent most of her day coordinating concert venues and logistics instead of perfecting her music and performance? As solo and small firm attorneys, we all have a highest and best use – and it is not handling administrative tasks, plowing through discovery, or spending countless hours drafting pleadings and documents. Be Beyoncé! Spend your valuable time on your highest and best use – rainmaking, going to court, meeting with clients, etc. – and outsource the rest.
Outsourcing is the key to getting more done and better serving your clients. And freelance lawyers (traditionally called contract lawyers) are a great way to get the help you need, when you need it, without driving up your overhead. Select your talented freelance lawyers, give them clear instructions, and resist the urge to micromanage.
Freelance lawyers can assist on any work you might otherwise delegate to a paralegal or a traditional associate. They can help with research, drafting any sort of written document, and managing discovery. They can also help with time consuming tasks like writing new blogs for your law firm website or giving you an extra set of eyes on a document before it is submitted to the court.
Not sure how to get started with outsourcing? Pick an easy project like a research memo and hand it off to a freelance lawyer. Let them spend hours digging through case law and preparing a memo with their legal analysis. Chances are you’ll wish you had tried it sooner.
Freelance lawyers have an incredibly diverse array of backgrounds and expertise, and are intentionally charting their own career paths. They include everyone from recent graduates to former judicial clerks, stay at home parents, military spouses, big law alums, and even some retired or semi-retired lawyers. Many freelancers have decades of experience and deep expertise that you can tap into to benefit your clients’ cases.
The Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition Report for 2019 surveyed 362 law firms, each with 50 or more lawyers. The survey reported that 59.8% of these firms say the use of contract lawyers is a permanent trend. Of the firms already using contract or freelance lawyers, 62.1% say the contract lawyers have delivered a significant improvement in their firm’s performance.
Larger law firms are already benefiting from the use of freelance lawyers in their business models. Thanks to LAWCLERK, now law firms of all sizes from solo shops to mid-sized firms can also easily connect with talented freelance lawyers to get more work done, generate revenue, and keep overhead under control.
Use freelance attorneys to staff cases and get help right when you need it. Outsourcing is often more economical than hiring associates. And those savings can be passed along to your clients, which gives you a competitive advantage.
Outsourcing can improve your bottom line by leveraging excess legal capacity and talent. Currently, there is an overabundance of graduating lawyers and the big law “up or out” system is creating thousands of talented and available lawyers with specialized knowledge. By working with freelancers, you can better meet your clients’ needs by selecting skilled freelance lawyers who have subject matter legal expertise on specific issues. You can take advantage of this competitive edge and get skilled attorneys at reasonable rates on a freelance basis.
Leveraging the talent of freelance lawyers can free up your valuable time to better serve your clients. Freelance lawyers present an accessible and affordable way to grow and scale your practice. You can hire them when you need help and often at a flat fee price you set. Freelance lawyers give you the ultimate flexibility to staff up when you’re busy without the permanent overhead of full-time associates.