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I saw a blog post the other day suggesting that maybe lawyers in traditional practice are a little suspicious of us freelance attorneys. Maybe lawyers in firms feel like freelancers as a group might not have the skills and the experience to do high quality work. And I thought hmm. Maybe there is that feeling out there. Then I thought, if there is, there\’s no basis for it. Here\’s why not.
These days, freelance lawyers are not just people who got laid off from a law firm job. If this was ever true, it certainly is not true now. According to the Wall Street Journal, freelancing is one of the fastest growing segments of the small business economy. In the legal field, it has become a bonafide practice area, a niche that is attracting talented, experienced people. Why? I can\’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you why I was drawn to it. First, I genuinely enjoy the research and writing aspect of the law, which is something I\’m good at, and freelancing lets me concentrate on that. Second, I like working alone, and freelancing lets me indulge that preference as well. Finally, and really important, I want to work at home. Why? Well, if you saw where I live, you wouldn\’t ask. My home is on the Maine coast, in a place that is so secluded and beautiful that sometimes when I get up in the morning and I see the sun coming up over the water, I just can\’t believe it. Could I succeed in a traditional practice? Sure. I did for 30 years. I could be doing it still, but I\’m not. And nowadays I\’m having more fun than I ever did.
From what I\’ve learned about my fellow freelancers, my story isn\’t that unusual. It\’s clear to me that the freelance practice of law these days is attracting very able lawyers who see it\’s advantages. These people are bringing excellent training and well-honed skills to the table. If you\’ve been putting off contacting a freelance lawyer because you\’ve got quality concerns, put them aside and make the call. To borrow a phrase from an old TV ad campaign, Try It; You\’ll Like It.