Why Accomplished Attorneys Choose to Work Freelance

FreedomFreelance attorneys are emerging from every corner of the legal profession, including big law firms, in-house counsel, government positions, and solo practice. Usually with five or more years of practicing law on their resumes, most freelance attorneys are established within the profession and have notable accomplishments to their name. So why choose freelance and forsake the support of colleagues, the financial security of a regular income, the satisfaction of directly managing cases, and the ability to climb a ladder to widely acclaimed professional success? The answer boils down to one word: freedom.

Attorneys who work freelance want flexibility not available in most traditional career tracks in the legal profession. The need for a more flexible schedule can arise from a variety of personal and professional situations, including caring for young children or aging parents, starting or growing a solo practice, moving with a spouse who is required to relocate for work, starting or growing a side business outside of the legal profession. Attorneys seek out freelance work as a way to continue practicing law on their own schedules. The advances in technology during the past five years are driving force fueling the growth in freelance work: attorneys can work remotely on projects, anywhere and anytime. Freelance attorneys have taken advantage of new technology and used it to maximize their professional freedom.

Of course, this freedom is not without a downside. Freelance attorneys must find their own work and maintain relationships with a variety of clients; otherwise they have no business, reputation, or income. Running a freelance law practice requires a great deal of motivation, self-discipline, independence, and smart business skills. But most freelance attorneys would agree that the toil and hustle of freelance work are worth maintaining and maximizing their professional freedom.

Freelance attorneys may also be the wave of the future. Changes inside and outside of the legal profession are fueling demands to cut legal expenses and streamline repetitive legal tasks on large cases and transactions, making the use of freelance attorneys more attractive than ever. Accomplished attorneys are jumping into freelance work to find professional freedom and pave the road ahead into the future.

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 emerald_gratz@hotmail.com.

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2 Responsesto “Why Accomplished Attorneys Choose to Work Freelance”

  1. Karen Cole says:

    Very well written article. It explains the many reasons lawyers may want to work free-lance. There’s one more reason: some lawyers prefer working for other lawyers. (I’m one of those.)

  2. Karin Ciano says:

    Nice post Emerald and great point Karen. I’ll chime in with another reason to freelance: it lets me focus on the tasks I do best and like most — for example advocacy writing. If there’s something you do well, and that’s all you want to do, freelancing is a great way to focus on that work.


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