Pros and Cons of Temp to Perm


Are you considering a temp to perm role? Are you interested in possibly hiring on a temp to perm basis? In 2017 and 2018, 32.5% of our AmLaw and Fortune 500 roles were temp to perm, spanning from paralegal/legal assistants to senior associates and in-house attorneys. 18% of our AMLaw 200 and Fortune 500 contractor projects that ended in 2018 did so because the contractor was converted to a full-time employee. Taking a temporary role can be a great stepping stone in your career, depending on your path and priorities. We’ve distilled our knowledge and data from the thousands of jobs and candidates on our platform into succinct wisdom for those considering working or hiring temp to perm.

Hiring Managers


  • Test the Waters - Get to know the candidate and find out if a long-term, permanent arrangement is right for both parties.

  • Agile Growth - Innovative law firms will pitch work when they know they have quality temporary help on standby. With a temp to perm arrangement, you can win the work and keep it without worrying about sustaining the overhead if the client work slows down or stops—and you’ll have a known, strong option standing by when your client work hits the volume and consistency for a permanent employee.

  • Quick Response - Without the pressure of commitment and the accompanying employer risk, you can hire someone much sooner and get some help ASAP.


  • No Ring On It - The lack of commitment cuts both ways. A temporary employee that isn’t converted to permanent within a few months’ time may be inclined to keep an eye on other opportunities.



  • Get a Foot in the Door - Take advantage of relaxed expectations and gain some valuable experience in a role that is new or may be a stretch for you in a straight permanent role. At Hire an Esquire we’ve seen AMLaw associates leave their permanent law firm roles for a temporary in-house role to put this experience on their resume and increase their chances of securing a permanent in-house legal role.

  • Transition Tool - Temp to perm roles are a great way to ease any career transition. Maybe you’re coming back into the workforce after some time off, or maybe you’re trying to move from in-house to a law firm (or vice versa). Any number of transitions can be made easier with a temp to perm role.

  • Dip a Toe in the Water (cooler) - It can be really tough to know from a few interviews if a law firm or company is a good fit for you. The opportunity to be integrated into daily operations and form relationships internally can help you feel confident when you decide to accept the permanent offer—and denoting that a short term role was a contractor role does not raise a red flag to employers the way short resume stints do for permanent roles.

  • Get Paid to Train - With the search time cut down significantly and savings on benefits/etc, hiring managers can spend more time training and investing in a candidate.


  • Uncertainty - Although many states have at-will employment, which means few jobs are as secure as they used to be, temporary jobs are certainly less secure. Without that commitment, a hiring manager might cut the cord more quickly and with less notice.

  • Benefits - Unless your arrangement is through Hire an Esquire, it’s likely you won’t be offered the same benefits as a permanent employee. However, if you have secured your temp to perm role through Hire an Esquire, never fear; you’ll receive all the benefits that a permanent employee would receive.


Looking to hire an attorney or paralegal on a temp-to-perm basis? It’s always free to post a job and search candidates on Hire an Esquire, sign up and get started today!