What is Hire an Esquire?
Hire an Esquire connects attorneys. Our online matchmaking connects verified law practices and in-house legal departments with a curated, national network of attorneys for freelance, contract, or local counsel work. Our all-in-one platform allows attorneys to directly communicate, track time, and approve invoices.
How is Hire an Esquire different from a temp agency?
Temp agencies find the clients and projects first, and then try to place attorneys in these positions. The most common projects temp agencies find are with large law firms, doing primarily document review. For their efforts, agencies scoop a large chunk off the top of the hourly billable rate.
Our platform grants attorneys access to a large variety of legal work that typically is not available through temp agencies. As an attorney at Hire an Esquire, you’re the boss! You have the flexibility and control to search for available jobs, choose whether to apply, and accept offers depending upon your schedule and needs. Bonus: you keep the entire hourly rate.
Hiring on Hire an Esquire eliminates the back and forth with agencies that close at 5 p.m. Everything from posting a job to approving time is online and accessible 24/7, and so is customer support if you need SOS service.
How does it work?
Attorneys sign-up online and build profile pages, if accepted onto the Hire an Esquire network. Firms and legal departments can sign-up, post projects and positions, and search our vetted network of attorneys based upon their skills, qualifications, geographical location, and availability. Attorneys get hired and paid; Firms view and pay invoices directly on the platform!
Attorney profile information is not public and can only be viewed by firms/companies registered with Hire an Esquire. See more via the How it Works page.
Who can sign-up?
All sizes of law practices, in-house legal departments, and other corporate organizations that regularly engage in the practice of law are able to sign-up here. We refer to these employers as “hiring agents”
Any actively barred attorney that wishes to work as a 1099 independent contractor or W-2 employee for law firms or in-house legal departments can register here. We are accepting applications for contract roles and permanent placement at this time.
How does Hire an Esquire survive? (How much does it cost?)
There is no sign-up or subscription fee for Hire an Esquire on the attorney or hiring agent side. Once an attorney is matched with a hiring agent, the hiring agents pay a fee according to the hours that attorneys bill through our system. (1099 contracts pay a 15% fee while W2 contracts pay a 40% fee). Because we are a web-based business, our margins are slim, allowing both attorneys and hiring agents to connect, bill, pay, and maintain their records with minimal cost.
What is a freelance attorney?
A freelance attorney does not work for a single employer. While some freelance attorneys pick up work exclusively from law firms, some also pick-up private clients. These private clients often include their clients from their previous firm who followed them to virtual or home offices with lower overhead and rates.
What is a hiring agent?
A hiring agent is a law firm or in-house legal department that is looking to hire an attorney for a position or project. We work with law firms of all sizes, from boutique/small firms to large Am Law 100-200 Firms to in-house legal departments.
How do I become a contributing writer to the Hire an Esquire blog?
Send a one-paragraph pitch to our Content Manager at email@example.com and we’ll be in touch!
I would like to interview someone at Hire an Esquire for an article or discuss a partnership opportunity.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the verification process like?
Our Community Managers briefly research an existing business with publicly available information and then reach out and contact the individual who has signed up within 24 hours. We ensure that you are a valid business and job poster, and that your needs align with what Hire an Esquire is able to provide. Signing up with an email address from your active business domain website will speed up the verification process and allow you to begin using Hire an Esquire quicker.
How do I ensure correct classification of employees?
HAE provides a 1099 service for the engagement of independent contractors and a W-2 service for the engagement of employees. It is critical that you correctly determine whether you are engaging an attorney on a 1099 basis as an independent contractor or on a W-2 basis as an employee. Classification depends on various factors of the engagement and we recommend that you examine federal guidelines for proper employee vs. independent contract classification. The IRS provides additional resources for classifying workers here.
This is not to be construed as legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel for more information regarding proper classification of employees.
What if I want to hire an attorney as an employee after we have connected and billed for a project through Hire an Esquire?
How does Hire an Esquire streamline the process of finding and retaining contract attorneys?
Hire an Esquire is an integrated project management tool. Our system has searchable fields allowing you to easily locate attorneys with the desired skills and communicate with them directly. After connecting both parties, our user-friendly billing system allows attorneys to easily log their hours. Hiring Agents can then approve and pay with the click of a button.
What are the advantages of Hire an Esquire if my jurisdiction only allows me to bill out contract attorneys at cost?
While the ABA Formal Opinion 08-451, Lawyer’s Obligations When Outsourcing, recommends allowing firms or practices to reasonably markup contract attorney fees, not all jurisdictions permit this.
This is not to be construed as legal advice please consult the professional responsibility rules or relevant ethics board as necessary in your jurisdiction.
What are reasonable rates?
Legal fees vary depending on specialty and geographical location. Attorneys working on a freelance basis generally have a lower overhead than attorneys at a firm, so rates can be less than half of what is paid at a traditional firm. Flat rates are commonplace.
A lawyer I found on Hire an Esquire wants to bill me directly, is this okay?
We do not suggest working with an attorney who is breaking contract and is encouraging you to do the same. As required by the Terms of Service, please contact us immediately. Under our terms of service, we can close the account of an attorney that exposes their clients and themselves to liability by encouraging clients to break the contract that both parties have with Hire an Esquire.
Using the Platform
How do I add additional admins?
Log into your account and click your name/company name on the top right hand corner and select “your company”. Click the green “add hiring agent” and add your colleague’s information. (If your colleague can’t find the email invite, simply click the “reconfirm” button by their name and they will be sent another invite to join your company’s Hire an Esquire account.)
How do I add an attorney I like to my A-list?
Search for the attorney you like and click on their profile. Once on their profile, click on the “actions” button under their picture and select “add to A-list”.
How do I invite an attorney to my job?
Find the attorney who you would like to join your job and click on their profile. Click the “actions” button under their photo, then “invite to job” and select the job you would like to invite them to. The attorney will be sent an alert with a link to your posting telling them you would like to invite them to apply to your job.
How do I post a job?
After you have created a hiring agent account and added in your payment information, you can post a job on the main dashboard.
Why is payment required prior to posting a job?
Hire an Esquire requires payment prior to posting so that we have it on hand before a job starts. This ensures that the attorneys are paid on time. Hire an Esquire will NEVER charge you until you hire an attorney and they begin working.
How often do I get an invoice/billed for the project?
We send you weekly invoices every Monday that need to be approved by that Wednesday. This ensures the attorney is paid on a weekly basis.
How do I pay an attorney?
We have you covered! Simply approve and pay the invoice on behalf of the attorney and we’ll make sure the attorney receives their wages.
How do I change payment methods?
To change or edit credit card information, click on your name/company on the top right-hand corner and then “your company”. Click on the “payments account” tab to view your current payment methods.
If you would like to switch from one existing payment method to another, simply click on the blue bank or credit card icon on the top left-hand corner of the payment method you would like to switch to as your primary. Once you have switched primary payment methods, the blue icon for the payment method will turn green and say “active”.
If you would like to add a new credit card or bank account, click either “add card” or “add bank” and follow the directions to add the new payment information. If you choose to add a bank account as a payment method, you will be required to verify the account by confirming the two micro-deposit amounts in your account.
How do I find a detailed invoice?
Select the invoice you would like to view on the Dashboard. Click “view invoice” on the top right-hand corner and select the format you would like to view.
- “Overview” displays the total fees for the specific dates
- “By attorney” displays the fees per attorney (This is helpful for single projects with multiple attorneys, i.e. document review)
- “By individual entry” displays the fees per task and includes a description of the task
What type of work can I do through Hire an Esquire?
Any legal work and projects that you are competent to handle and permitted to do based on jurisdictional restrictions. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with your jurisdiction’s rules of professional conduct. Projects range from document review, to court appearances, appellate briefs, research projects, trademarks, intellectual property work, and more. Projects may be on-site, off-site or a combination of both. It’s an exciting world out there!
A client wants to work with me outside of Hire an Esquire, is this allowed?
Clients can hire you pursuant to a buyout arrangement or after working through Hire an Esquire for a length of time as stated in our Terms of Service. Please contact Hire an Esquire with any additional questions at email@example.com.
What are the tax implications of self-employment?
You are responsible for filing your own taxes on earnings. Your taxes will not be withheld by Hire an Esquire. Filing taxes as a self-employed individual is not the same as filing as a full-time employee. Consult with a tax professional to ensure that you comply with all local and national tax requirements and that you are aware of all deductions that are available to you as a business owner.
None of this brief explanation should be taken as advice for tax or legal purposes.
Am I eligible for unemployment?
You are not eligible for unemployment from the work that you do as a self-employed individual because you are not an employee. You may be eligible for unemployment if you have other work history established as an employee, but in most states, you will have to give your state unemployment office more information about your independent contractor business. Check your local laws and regulations pertaining to unemployment.
None of this brief explanation should be taken as advice legal or unemployment purposes.
What information must I submit?
You must submit your legal name and bar license information in order to register for Hire an Esquire. With this information, we can verify that you are an actively barred attorney in good standing.
I recently applied to join the Hire an Esquire network. When will I hear back?
Our verification process takes less than 24 hours. Keep an eye out for verification requests! By keeping the information (name, email, phone number) in your bar profile on the state bar’s website current, it will speed up the verification process.
I received an email to confirm an email address or phone number that I no longer use. Can you use a different email or number as means of verification?
Hire an Esquire can only use the information provided in your publicly available bar profile as a means of verification. If this contact information is outdated or you would prefer it not be used, you can provide a copy of your bar card (or document with a registration number), certificate of good standing, or bar receipt via the bar card upload feature in your profile.
Questions regarding the verification process? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I already gave my bar information. Why does Hire an Esquire need a copy of my bar card (or document with a registration number), certificate of good standing, or bar receipt?
Identity protection is of the utmost important to us. Since bar information is publicly accessible, we require a uniquely identifying document to confirm your identity and ensure someone is not impersonating or misrepresenting you. We have ensured that every state bar association provides at least one of the following documents to attorneys who are members of their jurisdiction.
Questions regarding the verification process? Email us at email@example.com.
What if I don't have a bar ID/number?
If you are barred in New York or Maryland, please put down your registration number or client protection fund (cpf) number respectively.
If you are a newly barred attorney, please wait until you receive your bar number before applying to the Hire an Esquire network.
Why do you need my bar information?
We require bar information from attorneys to verify that they are in good standing and allowed to practice law within the specific jurisdiction(s).
Why was I declined for an inactive bar ID when I am still in good standing?
All Hire an Esquire attorneys are required to have an active bar ID before being allowed into the network.
I don’t understand why I was declined.
Every case is situational. Here are the most common reasons for being declined:
- Attorneys who do not respond to a verification request within a week are declined. To rectify this, please forward a bar card (or document with a registration number), certificate of good standing, or bar receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All attorneys must be actively barred in any state. Those who are inactive will be declined. Should the status in your bar ID change, feel free to send new information to email@example.com.
- Attorneys with a history of disciplinary actions, misdemeanors, convictions, and/or judicial sanctions.
Can I join and search Hire an Esquire privately?
Of course! Log into your account and click on “Profile” in the toolbar. In the “Edit” panel, click on the tab that says “Privacy”. Uncheck the box beside “My public profile is currently searchable.” The page will refresh and the sentence will now read “My public profile is currently not searchable.”
You will now have entered stealth mode and hiring agents will not be able to search for you by name. However, when you apply to a position, your profile will become available for viewing solely by the hiring agent.
Why do you need my Conflict information?
As a barred attorney, you are also responsible for keeping your conflict information accurate and current. Conflict information maintained in the Hire an Esquire database will only be shared with hiring agents that wish to retain you, to ensure that you can work on a project without a conflict of interest.
Why is my bank account information and Social Security number required?
You must submit your bank account information and Social Security number prior to applying for jobs. Law firms and in-house legal departments tend to have urgent hiring needs and requesting this information in advance and having it on file, makes the process seamless and efficient. This also allows us to pay you through direct deposit quickly and efficiently.
What if my expertise tag is not available?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it ASAP!
Why am I required to send my references this questionnaire prior to applying/accepting a job?
We require that you enter three references before submitting you to a project in order to thoroughly vet your credentials. Each reference will be sent a questionnaire to complete on your behalf. By doing this, we’re able to speed up the hiring process and allow you to start working ASAP when you’re matched.
Do I have to submit more references each time I apply to a job?
No! Enter and complete the three references once. Your Hire an Esquire profile will retain this information for all projects you apply to, thus requiring us to reach out to your references only once.
How do I apply to a job?
Log into your Hire an Esquire profile. Make sure that your profile is 100% complete and that all the stages in the Onboarding Wizard are complete (especially references, bank account information, and your video interview).
I'm still waiting for a video interview. What do I do?
Reach out to us at email@example.com and request to have a video interview with our Director of Recruiting.
When I apply to a job it says I don’t have the years of experience required. Can this be fixed?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll fix it for you!
How do I record a billable event?
Once you’re successfully placed on a job and working, the job will be available in the “Jobs” section under “WORK” on the left hand side of the dashboard. Click “Time Tracker” and fill in the date, hours and minutes spent on the project, and include a description of what you did. Click “Save” and the billable event will be added to the list of “tracked entries”.
When can I record a billable event?
Time for each week must be entered between 12:00AM Monday and 11:59PM that following Sunday. We cannot pay you on time or guarantee that you will be paid for time entered after this deadline.
Can I delete a billable event?
You can delete any billable event prior to when an invoice is made. There is a blue “Delete” button available to do so. Any billable event that has a lock icon beside it is no longer available to delete.
When and how do I get paid?
Invoices are sent to the client on Monday. Once the hiring agent approves your billed hours, a direct deposit payment is sent to the bank account you provided in your Hire an Esquire profile. Attorneys are paid on a Friday.