Five Easy Steps to Get Your Law Firm Ready for a Freelancer


Don’t wait until you are slammed with work to get help: you and your practice will benefit from the peace of mind that comes from having a go-to freelance attorney ready to step in to help with your practice.

Whether you need someone for a particular type of project or because of a unique situation in your practice, the following steps will prepare your office to smoothly incorporate freelance legal help when the time is right.

1. Add language to your retainer agreement that informs your clients that you may use temporary legal help if it will benefit their case. Talk to new clients about how this will work in practice. If you have questions about the process or the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the ethical rules, feel free to call one of the MFAN attorneys to ask!

2. Find a freelance attorney (or two) that fits with your practice. Ask for any information you need to know to feel comfortable incorporating their help into your practice. In locating a qualified freelance attorney, you can start by browsing our own freelance attorney directory, asking colleagues about who they have used for freelance or contract assignments, or contacting a matchmaking service such as Custom Counsel.

3. Consider the contract terms that you would like to incorporate into an agreement with your freelance attorney. Discuss with your chosen freelance attorney(s) the use of a master agreement that can be drafted in advance and then finalized for the specific project.

4. Discuss malpractice insurance coverage with your freelance attorney. If he or she doesn’t have a separate policy, ask your malpractice carrier what can be done to ensure that the work is appropriately covered.

5. Discuss potential billing arrangements with your freelance attorney. Find out what billing structures your freelance attorney will consider, and discuss what billing options make the most sense in your practice.

By taking these steps in advance, you will be ready to supplement your capacity with a qualified freelance attorney when you have one too many projects on your desk.

Watch for next week’s post covering the steps for delegating a project to a freelancer when the need for help does arise.

Effective June 1st 2016, Lynn Walters is no longer accepting assignments as a freelance attorney. Lynn’s new company, Blackstock Walters, LLC, offers litigation support services such as legal research, motion preparation, and document summaries on a project basis.

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