Just because you're a solo or small firm attorney, doesn't mean that you have to struggle doing everything yourself. There are ways to economically scale your practice to give you the extra manpower you need when you need it. One of those ways is by hiring a freelance attorney. A freelance attorney is simply an experienced attorney who works with other attorneys on certain projects for a one-time or on-going basis. Think of them as an on-call associate that you use whenever you’re in a pinch. A freelance attorney can help change the way you work by making your practice more efficient, helping to balance your caseload and giving you more time to focus on more pressing matters. It all leads to less stress and better work-life balance.
So how do you know when it’s time to hire a freelance attorney? Here are 4 signs.
OVERWORKED AND OVERWHELMED WITH CURRENT CASELOAD
The good news is you're busy with work from clients. The bad news is that you don't know how you're possibly going to tackle it all yourself. The great news is that you don't have to tackle it by yourself. A freelance attorney experienced in your practice area can be a lifesaver for you and your practice. They are able to step in and help you manage your cases either by drafting documents for you, making court appearances, or following up on things that have fallen through the cracks.
As a solo or small firm attorney, you are only a one person shop or a small operation. So it is inevitable that conflicts come up where you have to be in court on one matter, but have to either handle another matter in another case or have personal affairs to tend to and there's no one available to cover for you. A freelance attorney can step in and handle a matter for you, while you take care of business in another area.
NOT SURE IF YOU CAN SUSTAIN A PERMANENT ASSOCIATE
You may be at a point in your practice where you want to hire another associate full-time, but aren't sure if you have enough work to sustain one. Using a freelance attorney can give you a good gauge of whether you're actually busy enough to hire someone permanently.
WANT ANOTHER ATTORNEY TO BOUNCE IDEAS OFF OF
Being a solo attorney can be especially isolating. An experienced freelance attorney can be the extra eyes and ears when you want to bounce ideas off of someone or have issues pointed out that you may have missed. Sometimes getting another person's perspective on a matter can give you the insight you need to turn your case around.
If you can identify with any of these 4 signs, it's probably time to hire a freelance attorney. It may be tempting to try to handle everything yourself, but doing this only hurts your practice and your sanity in the long-run.