Hot Practice Areas: Freelance Lawyers in Demand


We analyzed our data over thousands of placements to discern what areas of law are the most opportune for outsourcing…

We break down the top 6 Legal Practice Areas that are in high demand and most likely to outsource legal work in 2019

Have you ever wondered how and where law firms and in-house legal departments are outsourcing legal work or working with contract attorneys the most? We analyzed our data over thousands of placements to discern what areas of law are the most opportune for outsourcing to contract attorneys and where law practices have had the most success. We also gauged the supply of contract attorneys in different practice areas to give you a forecast of ease or difficulty and where prices may be lower or higher due to supply and demand.

And we always love to hear from you, let us know how you’re currently working with contract attorneys and where you’ve seen success or fails. Let us know on Twitter @HireAnEsquire.


Demand: HIGH

We’ve seen the largest number of jobs in this practice area and they range from senior litigators, motion practice or trial attorneys, to local counsel, discovery and coverage attorneys, posted across the country. We see a high willingness to hire remotely when a fundamental job requirement isn’t location (e.g. local counsel, covering a deposition or hearing)

Supply: MEDIUM

There have been a high number of placements and matches, but it isn’t always the easiest role to fill, depending on the location of the matter. Sometimes the best candidates are already engaged, so don’t procrastinate and start early when hiring for these roles.


Demand: HIGH

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with this kind of work right now and a contract attorney can quickly step in to help ease the load. We’ve seen lots of real estate jobs posted with low-interest rates, expanding government programs and opportunity zones and the continued growth of commercial enterprises has meant a steady supply of commercial real estate work.

Supply: LOW

Real estate attorneys and paralegals that are not already overwhelmed with their own clients or freelance work are hard to find. If you’re a real estate attorney or paralegal with time and commercial lending, leasing, purchase & sale and title experience on your hands, think about signing up and picking up some extra work!


Demand: HIGH

Business savvy attorneys with a pragmatic approach who don’t overcomplicate corporate necessities are always in huge demand. While M&A work might ebb & flow, there’s a consistent need for high-quality corporate finance and securities regulation attorneys, especially those with the ability to seamlessly navigate federal, state, and local regulatory frameworks. We’re particularly seeing a recent spike in the need for ethics and compliance attorneys.

Supply: MEDIUM

We see a lot of good matches, but again this practice area is in such high demand that sometimes the quality candidates are already engaged. Strike while the iron is hot if you have a good candidate engaged and interested in your projects.


Demand: HIGH (particularly for paralegals)

Family law practices often need help with intake, client organization, and basic process work that doesn’t require a law license. With billing rates often lower in this area, practices look to optimize to ensure that attorney time is focused on work that requires a law license.

Supply: LOW

Paralegals who can be flexible to new systems are in high demand and hard to find. The number of qualified paralegals with a strong understanding of family law processes, procedures, and local family court rules isn’t that high. If you’re one of the few who have that experience - Get in there, there’s plenty of work for you. If you have or are thinking about setting up a family law practice, be on the lookout for processes, systems, and tools that can automate or reduce the time it takes to do administrative work.


Demand: HIGH

With employee classification under review and widely disparate standards between states and state and federal laws, navigating Labor and Employment is tricky business right now. Labor and Employment attorneys are in high demand.

Supply: MEDIUM

There’s a good pool of quality Labor and Employment attorneys out there, but there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of this practice area and it will be hot for at least a few years as uncertainty and changing standards continue.


Demand: MEDIUM

Unlike other practice areas that can spike and dip, commercial transactions stays fairly steady. Technology transactions attorneys with exposure to data and consumer privacy requirements (and better yet, CIPP/US and/or CIPP/E certifications) are, particularly in demand.

Supply: HIGH

Firms looking for help with commercial transactions can rest easy that if you need help, you won’t have to work too hard to find a qualified, available attorney to help you out. There’s a healthy supply of attorneys with this experience in major metros and many of our boutique firms are open to remote candidates further expanding the pool.

Honorable Mentions:

Cannabis Attorneys: The demand for attorneys with exposure to new statutory frameworks regulating cannabis growth, distribution, and sales operations is spiking, with both companies and law firms seeking to build out cannabis regulatory compliance departments. However, because this area is so new, the supply of Cannabis attorneys is relatively low but growing.

Information Governance and Data Privacy Attorneys: With a cascade of new data privacy regulations across the globe, the demand for data privacy attorneys with significant regulatory compliance experience has remained high. The supply of qualified attorneys is steadily increasing, with more attorneys obtaining relevant data privacy certifications (CIPP/US, CIPP/E, etc).

Energy Attorneys: We’ve seen momentary spikes followed by prolonged lulls in the demand for energy attorneys over the past year or so. But with increased investment and development of renewable energy along with oil and gas deregulation resulting in increased production, we would expect the demand for energy attorneys to grow through the next several months.