Book Review: The Freelance Lawyering Manual

TheFreelanceLawyeringManual“However you use it, The Freelance Lawyering Manual is designed to help you navigate the murky waters of freelance legal practice by answering the most common questions, as well as those you never thought to ask.” This statement, made by author and freelance attorney Kimberly Alderman at the outset of her book, appropriately summarizes the chief utility of The Freelance Lawyering Manual. Although the book does not provide comprehensive and substantive information about freelance attorney work, it does function as a good checklist for two targeted groups: (1) attorneys looking to start a freelance practice and (2) attorneys looking to hire freelance help.

The first part of the book is dedicated to attorneys looking to build a freelance law practice. Alderman explains the parameters of the legal market (as of 2011), appropriately cautions attorneys interested in freelance work on limitations of the practice area, and then spends five chapters covering the basics: setting up a practice, making money, marketing, negotiating work, and practicing freelance law. One of the most useful sections discusses how to perform a break-even analysis for a freelance practice. Alderman also includes a sample freelance work agreement in the appendix of the book.

The second part of the book is dedicated to attorneys looking to hire help from a freelance attorney. Alderman lays out the risks and rewards of outsourcing legal projects, explains how to find the right freelance attorney, and suggests best practices for hiring a freelance attorney. Alderman does a nice job proffering ideas for potential freelance projects and explaining how hiring attorneys can increase their revenues by acquiring help from a freelance attorney.

The third and final part of the book addresses ethical considerations for both the freelance attorney and the hiring attorney. Alderman includes the full text of the three primary American Bar Association ethics opinions addressing freelance attorney work, as well as a state by state list of relevant state bar ethics opinions.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, it is available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also learn more about the book from Kimberly Alderman’s website.

Effective September 10, 2014, Emerald has accepted a position with the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings and is no longer working as a freelance attorney. You can reach her at

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2 Responsesto “Book Review: The Freelance Lawyering Manual”

  1. Karin Ciano says:

    Nice post Emerald – I discovered this book shortly after starting my freelance practice in 2011, and found it a helpful summary of the basic issues I was facing. There are many excellent books on starting a solo practice, but very few to date about starting a freelance practice. The ethics opinions are especially helpful. I passed the book along to a good friend who was considering a freelance practice. For those considering a freelance writing practice I would also suggest a visit to Lisa Solomon’s website.

  2. Thanks for the post! Please do leave reviews on Amazon if you like the book. 🙂 For some reason it sells fairly well but I don’t have much in the way of reviews. Take care and happy freelancing! Kimberly


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