Take a Tip from Tom Sawyer: Let a Freelancer Whitewash the Fence for You

Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of white-wash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all the gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled upon his spirit.

–from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

Poor Tom Sawyer? No, because he figured a way out. Although freelancers won’t pay YOU for the privilege of doing your work, they will do it and do it well, thereby relieving any “deep melancholy” you may experience looking at your desk.

Think broadly. The practice of law calls for a varied skill set. Most people don’t have strengths in all areas, so why not let a freelance attorney do some of the work for you? Consider hiring a freelance attorney to do the work that you either don’t like to do, don’t have time to do, or don’t have the expertise to do.

Some of my MFAN colleagues take on litigation support tasks like brief writing and discovery. But freelance attorneys can also help with transactional work, marketing, and administrative tasks, such as:

  • Writing/editing your website copy
  • Preparing marketing materials
  • Drafting posts for your firm blog
  • Reviewing your work to date and distilling it down to model contracts, checklists, so the next time, it goes that much faster
  • Creating/editing CLE materials

Step back and give some thought to what kind of investment would help your practice. Now more than ever, time and money spent creating efficiencies can improve your bottom line.

I left private law practice some time ago to teach and work on practicelaw.org, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s practice resources website. Now I whitewash fences as a freelance writer and editor.

Don’t let any melancholy settle upon your spirit. Hire a freelance attorney.

Nancy graduated from University of Illinois and started her career as an associate, specializing in transactional real estate. She then left practice and started teaching in Hamline’s undergraduate Legal Studies program and at William Mitchell College of Law… MFAN Bio | Email | Web | LinkedIn | MFAN Posts

One Responseto “Take a Tip from Tom Sawyer: Let a Freelancer Whitewash the Fence for You”

  1. Karin Ciano says:

    Well said Nancy! I don’t do my own taxes, fix my own plumbing, or frame my own pictures – to name just a few. Nothing feels better than liberating tasks from the bottom of the pile and letting a trained professional take over. And p.s., folks – when it comes to freelance writing and blog posting, Nancy’s that kind of professional, she has elevated my posting game many a time.

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