“What (the heck) is a freelance lawyer?” I believe that is a direct quote from my Mom when I told her I had become one. So Mom (and anyone else who might be curious), here is a brief rundown of what freelance lawyering is all about.
As a freelance lawyer, my clients are other lawyers, law firms or in house counsel (in layman’s terms this means the legal departments of companies). I am not employed by these lawyers, law firms or in house counsel but instead, am an independent contractor providing services to them. I have a non-exclusive arrangement with all of them, meaning that I am free to work with others, at my discretion. The type of work varies and timeframes can range from a one-off project, stepping in for a finite period of time while a lawyer is on vacation or acting for the lawyer’s client on an ongoing basis. Sometimes a lawyer will call me because they simply hate reviewing and editing contracts. Not me. That is one of my favourite type of files.
I also provide legal services to “end clients” which in my case are typically online businesses and entrepreneurs. This is the typical legal service model where I report directly to that client and invoice them directly as well. So I guess these two types of roles make me some kind of hybrid freelance/regular lawyer. A “freegular” in Brangelina terms.
Being a freelance lawyer has a lot of advantages – flexibility, working remotely, autonomy (to name a few) but also has its challenges – no fixed income, no job security and no colleagues down the hall to discuss the latest legal developments and/or the latest episode of the Bachelor (to name a few).
Despite the risks involved with being a freelance lawyer, it is a career that is immensely fulfilling. I get to practice the areas of law that I want to practice, with clients I enjoy and on my schedule. And being my own boss is pretty cool too!
Hopefully this post has helped to shed some light on what freelance lawyering is all about. Mom, if you’re still unsure, just give me a call!