Thursday, February 10, 2011

More advice if you're thinking about doing freelance legal work

Following up on an early post directed at recent and not-so-recent grads who are thinking about doing freelance legal work, here's a checklist courtesy of the blog Attorney at Work to help you assess whether it's a good fit.

To be profitable, you must enjoy and be comfortable with the characteristics required of a freelancer. Let’s take a look at what they are.

  • A love of independence. Some people just don’t make good employees. They want to feel in control of their own lives, define their tasks and agendas, work in environments that are comfortable to them—where and when they choose, and escape office politics. If this is you, then you’re off to a good start.
  • A high tolerance for uncertainty. Anyone who is self-employed needs to be comfortable with the fact that work comes and goes. There’s no steady paycheck, no paid vacation or benefits. Being able to succeed under those conditions, however, is very fulfilling for some people.
  • Self-motivation. Although the hiring attorney will give you deadlines, you are the only person around making sure you get the work done. You must have the discipline to stay on schedule.
  • An enterprising nature. Building a freelance practice requires ambition and initiative. The work does not come to you without effort. Are you good at spotting and taking advantage of opportunities for business development? Are you resourceful in new situations and with new people?
  • Business management know-how. Freelancing is a business. Do you know, or want to learn, how to run one? Are you good at managing time and money? Organized and efficient when juggling several projects at once?

You can read more here.


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