While more and more law firms and in-house legal departments are using freelance lawyers for their overflow work, we are still often asked “What is a freelance lawyer” and “Why would I use one?” To help answer these questions, Flex Lawyer Heather Cross has written this helpful blog post “Seven Reasons to Hire a Freelance Lawyer”:
1. You need an associate, but not all of the time.
A freelance lawyer can act as your associate down the virtual hallway. Freelance lawyers can be a sounding board, perform legal research, prepare documents or edit your documents, but you don’t have to provide them with an office, a regular salary or steady work. They are just there when you need them.
2. You are not a bookworm (but we are).
You didn’t get into law to spend hours with your nose in a book or glued to a screen. You want to be in court, meeting clients and being part of the community. However, high-quality legal research and writing are an indispensable part of a successful legal practice.
Believe it or not, there are lawyers out there (like us) who actually enjoy scouring Westlaw for that gem of a case or spending a quiet afternoon typing out a factum. Hire them to help you out and you will be free to spend as much time out and about as you’d like.
3. You don’t know everything.
No one does. The legal world is a complex one, full of niche specialties. There is no way a lawyer can maintain a good understanding of every area of the law. When you run into an area in which you lack experience, hiring a freelance lawyer with the requisite expertise can make you look like a pro.
4. You want a competitive advantage.
You are juggling a million things, and chances are, whoever is acting for the other side is too. But you have an ace up your sleeve—a freelance lawyer who has time and energy to devote solely to developing a winning case for you and your client.
5. You want a life.
Looming deadlines, demanding clients, family obligations, and that pesky human need for food, exercise and sleep make running a legal practice challenging. Hiring a freelance lawyer can take some of the pressure off.
Don’t have time to prepare those application materials because you are in court all next week on another matter? No problem, hire a freelance lawyer to take care of it and you can focus on the case at hand.
Who knows? If you build a good relationship with a lawyer you trust, you could even go on vacation, knowing your work is in good hands while you are away. Mexico, anyone?
6. You want to grow your business.
A freelance lawyer can help you grow your business by:
7. Your clients can’t afford you.
If you have clients who struggle to cover your retainer, hiring a freelance lawyer can make your services more affordable and thus more attractive. Because freelance lawyers have lower overhead, they tend to charge less than the average lawyer. If you hire a freelance lawyer to take care of portions of your clients’ work and pass the savings on to your clients, they will find the process much more reasonable and be happy to pay your hourly rate to conduct the big trial or negotiation. Offering an affordable legal solution can help you attract and keep clients who would otherwise be unable to afford your services.
If you are interested in finding out more about freelance lawyers and their work, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our request for assistance form.
 If you are sole practitioner or in a small firm, having another person “on-call” can also makes potential clients feel more confident that you will be able to handle their matter.
 For example, if you need assistance with a criminal appeal, I am a great resource. I have worked on criminal appeals to the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada for the past five years.
 Or, what the heck, just hire them to write the whole article or paper.