I’m Lisa Solomon, and I started Legal Research & Writing Pro to help other lawyers start and run successful practices as independent contract lawyers (also known as freelance lawyers).
Studies and surveys show that career satisfaction among lawyers is at an all-time low. Chief among the reasons for a lack of satisfaction is the inability of many lawyers to achieve a balance between the demands of their careers and their personal lives. I believe your law degree shouldn’t be a trap: it should be a liberating, empowering force.
The Time is Right
Technology and the outsourcing revolution have joined forces to make this the best time in history to establish a practice as a freelance lawyer.
I’ve been in the field of outsourced legal research and writing since its infancy. When I started my practice in 1996, a lot of lawyers didn’t even use e-mail: I had to drag some of my clients, kicking and screaming, into the internet age. Although I could do legal research online, my dial-up connection was painfully slow. But the most difficult challenge to overcome was lawyers’ unfamiliarity with the idea of outsourcing research and writing work to a contract attorney.
Your law degree shouldn’t be a trap: it should be a liberating, empowering force.
Today, all that has changed. Lawyers are used to exchanging documents online using e-mail and other tools. High-speed internet connections make online legal research a breeze. And, most importantly, lawyers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of using freelance attorneys to perform discrete tasks, whether the task is making a court appearance, defending a deposition, or researching and writing a brief.
A Growing Practice Area
For years, lawyers across the country have called and e-mailed me asking for advice on how to start and run practices as freelance lawyers. I’m pleased that I’ve been able to help so many lawyers get their start in this practice area. But I realized that I could help so many more people in a much more comprehensive way if I compiled everything I have learned over the past fifteen years and made it widely available.
There is amazing pent-up demand for high-quality freelance attorney services.
I can understand if you’re a little leery: after all, why should I share what I’ve learned with thousands of potential competitors? The answer is simple: I think there is amazing pent-up demand for high-quality freelance attorney services.
As a sole practitioner, I need only a handful of good clients to support my practice. According to the American Bar Association, as of December 31, 2007, there were over 1.16 million practicing lawyers in the United States. In a 2000 statistical survey, the American Bar Foundation found that 48% of lawyers were solo practitioners and another 15% worked in firms with 2-5 lawyers. Small firms and solos are the most likely potential clients for freelance attorneys. As these lawyers search for their own work/life balance, they’ll be more and more interested in outsourcing their excess workload to qualified freelance lawyers.
At the same time, based on my research, there currently are very few lawyers out there who actively promote themselves as dedicated legal research and writing service providers. In fact, I have located fewer than 100 lawyers in the United States whose web sites indicate that they perform legal research and writing services of any sort on a contract basis. (Of course, many more lawyers take on contract work, including legal research and writing projects, but do not advertise that fact.)
You can have it all: a challenging career, work/life balance and a comfortable living.
All this talk of work/life balance and professional satisfaction might sound very “pie-in-the-sky”—even utopian—to most of us, almost too good to be true. You suspect that this kind of work must pay a pittance. But you really can have it all: a challenging career, the flexibility to enjoy personal and family time and a comfortable living.
Where do we go from Here?
To find out more about how LRWP can help you achieve the professional satisfaction you're looking for, visit our products page. There, you'll find more information about the Freelance Freedom video and companion e-book; our library of recorded programs; and personal, one-on-one private coaching sessions. These resources—in various combinations—are the keystones of our Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus Success Packages.
Finally, I know that some of you may be more interested in improving your writing than starting your own practice as a freelance lawyer. That's why I also offer private consultations, where I'll work one-on-one with you to evaluate your writing style, identify your personal strengths and weaknesses and help you write clearer, more persuasive briefs.