Pursuing a career in law is rarely a snap decision. It’s something that you’ve likely thought about for a long time, and stuck with throughout those long, gruelling training periods. But when all is said and done and you find yourself with the qualifications that you’ve been working towards, it’s perfectly natural to find yourself then wondering what the next path to take is. As a lawyer there are many options available to you, and one very strong one is becoming an on-demand lawyer.
An on-demand lawyer is essentially one who works freelance, and is hired to work with other businesses and law firms on specific cases for set periods of time. On-demand, interim lawyers spend a lot of time in different environments and get to work on different things with different people. This offers the opportunity to work flexibly, and build experience in a variety of legal areas whilst you sculpt your career on your own terms. If you want that breadth of experience, and that kind of career appeals to you, the next step is figuring out how you’re going to get there.
Finding an agency to work with
The first step is to find a legal agency to work through. While you can become an on-demand lawyer independently, the task of constantly applying to different positions and accuring clients can be incredibly time consuming. You’ll likely spend more time trying to find cases than you will actually working on them. The alternative option is to work through an agency, such as Flex Legal, who supply lawyers on demand to businesses or law firms who are in need of extra lawyers. Working through an agency provides you clear access to clients and opportunities, without the hassle of finding the opportunities yourself. This option can give you a viable platform to work as a freelance lawyer while also giving you more visibility and access to experience.
If this sounds good so far, the next step is actually applying to become an on-demand lawyer, which should be a simple process. You are a fully qualified lawyer, after all, and agencies are keen to have you on board with them. Once you’ve found an egency you’d like to work with, just contact them through the contact details on their website and submit your details. The roles available might vary from agency to agency. Flex Legal, for example, has a huge range of work available for both freelance lawyers and paralegals. This affords you the freedom to accept the roles that best suit your skillset and interests.
Why you shouldn’t work independently?
Freelance work is increasing in appeal in a huge range of employment areas, including the legal industry. This obviously means that there is increased competition for the cases available. Having an advantage in this environment, such as working with an agency that already has access to lawyer opportunities, could be instrumental to your success.
While working with an agency might feel more similar to being employed by a firm than reaping the advantages of a freelance lifestyle, this really doesn’t have to be the case. The right agency will still allow you to retain your independence, help you strike the right life/work balance, and only afford you the advantages of finding yourself in a more visible position. You can still choose when and how you work, and only opt for the opportunities that align with what you want – be that working in large corporate environments for short bursts of time, or working for small independent businesses for prolongued periods of time. The possibilities are endless, and the choices are all yours.
How your work can help businesses
Not everyone gets into the legal profession out of passion for work itself. Another motivation for pursuing legal work is a genuine desire to help people. Working freelance lets you do this, and gives you the opportunity to work in several different areas such as with small businesses or non-profits. You have a real chance to work with those in need, and help them work through any trouble they run into at the time when they most need the legal support.
Conversely, hiring freelance lawyers has its own advantages from the perspective of the company as well – even if they work with alongside an existing in-house legal team – as the contract lawyers or paralegals can be used to temporarily expand the size of their team in the event of a big case or an increased volume of them.
Additionally, being able to hire specialist legal help for specific cases means that each case can be given the particular attention it needs. For example, if an existing in-house legal team is struggling with a bigger caseload than they are used to, you could personally relieve the pressure they are facing by taking on some of their work that matches your experience and abilities. This allows you to get more of the experience that you want, while allowing them to better direct their focus. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Why you will be In demand
Think about the circumstances under which you might be hired on-demand. Many small businesses might not be able to afford a full in-house legal team all year round. They might have to hire freelance lawyers on a case-by-case basis, as the cost to them will cover a set period of time. In this instance, you will be directly in-demand and help those small businesses by allowing them to tackle the cases they find themselves with. This is something that could otherwise prove incredibly damaging for them if they were left without legal support.
Flex Legal has thousands of clients of all shapes and sizes, all of them with different legal needs. Working as an on-demand lawyer will give you the opportunity to pick from a huge variety of different roles and opportunities, and opt for the interim positions that are right for you.