Alternate Careers Lawyers Should Consider

With the economy being what it is these days, more and more lawyers and law firms are feeling the pinch. Business in many segments has simply dried up. This may mean seeking a new position or career somewhere else, or it may mean you’ll need to pick up some additional income. Here are three of the easier ways to accomplish this:

1. Freelance legal work. If you’ve just been laid off from your big firm, or if you have a lot of extra time on your hands, and you do not want to make an actual career change, try doing freelance legal work. You can get in touch with the contract legal staffing or legal temp agencies and get on the list for document review or other short term assignments. You can also contact law firms that do not provide services in your practice area and work out a split for business that they can refer to you. You can also approach law firms to take on some of their over flow work.

2. Freelance writing. There are all kinds of journals, papers and magazines that could use a fresh legal perspective – your legal knowledge could earn you money, without having to do any actual legal work. Write up some query letters and send them off to as many editors as you can find. Publications like Writers Digest and Editor & Publisher will have names of companies. You can also do a Google search for publications. Lawyers doing freelance writing work can command a high per-word fee.

3. Consulting work. This is one of the easiest moves for a lawyer to make. There are lots of businesses, both large and small, that are in need of legal consultants. This work can often be rewarding, and is a fantastic way to break up the monotony of day-to-day legal work. As an added bonus, contracted consultants usually are able to charge significantly more per hour than their salaried counterparts. The hardest part of making this kind of career change is finding the actual consulting gigs, so having above average networking skills are important.

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