Freelance Lawyers: Are You Ready to Step Out On Your Own?


Not sure if the law firm life is for you? It may be time to consider stepping out on your own. Taking control of your professional life can feel liberating, but it also must be done with caution. So, how do you know if you’re ready to blaze your own trail? Here are a few signs that it’s time to make the leap and abandon your office job for the freelance lawyer life:

Do you love learning?

As a freelance attorney, you’re responsible for keeping your skills sharp. There won’t be a company training program or paid seminars. If you enjoy reading books and other publications on your own time, stepping out on your own will be more natural as you are already comfortable advancing your skillset independently.

Do you have a safety net?

Stepping out on your own means not knowing what awaits financially. As a result, abandoning your office job requires that you set up a budget. Calculating your costs will help you understand if you can truly afford to make the switch. A common rule of thumb is to have enough money to pay your bills for six months.

Is professional freedom more important than stability?

This is the most important question on the list. You need to want a career change. Abandoning your law firm job isn’t the step you take because you’re not loving the firm anymore. Rather, it’s what you do when  you want to make a name for yourself on your own and want the freedom to design a career that fits your desired lifestyle.

As a freelance lawyer, you are your own boss and your own associate. You may also be your own paralegal and secretary. You have a flexible schedule and are able to work from the comfort of your home, if you choose. If the switch from working a normal schedule to choosing assignments and designing your own work-life is something you’re comfortable with, then stepping out on your own makes sense. It’s important that you want to make your own professional choices instead of following the routine established for you by a firm.

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, abandoning your law firm job may be the right decision. This could be the change you need to find job satisfaction. According to the Pew report, "Nearly four-in-ten self-employed workers (39%) say they are 'completely satisfied' with their jobs, compared with 28% of all wage or salaried employees."

Once you decide to step out on your own, a whole new professional world will open up, providing you with new opportunities. Stepping out on your own offers schedule flexibility and the freedom of choosing work that you’re passionate about. Being in control of your professional career could be the key to your happiness. If you think you’re ready to leave your law firm job, but aren’t exactly sure where to start, finding partners can set you up for success by helping you market yourself and by connecting you with the right people. Services like Hire an Esquire allow attorneys that wish to work as 1099 Independent contractors to advertise their skills to law practices, legal departments, and startups/businesses. In doing so, you’re given the opportunity to design your own professional life and create your own legal career.