Freelancing has its own career path. And more businesses are hiring from that pool of talent. For example, according to the U.S. Census Department, 22.5 million U.S. businesses do not have any employees, reports BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK. Increasingly they are recognizing the cost efficiency of the just-in-time workforce. In addition, the odds are better for fresh thinking from freelancers who are plugged in to having to sing for their supper every day.
This path has been open to lawyers for a while. Those who have been attuned to changing trends developed their own branding in the "temp market." They made themselves known to those doing the hiring, ranging from placement agencies to the law firms themselves. Also, they have established the kinds of work habits which ensure future assignments. Those include being available when needed, willingness to pull the all-nighter to get the job done, developing special areas of expertise, and providing insight about the clients' competition.
The work is there for lawyers who can adjust to leaving the status of a full-time job behind. Also, since the assignments are so varied, contract lawyers could wind up more marketable than those locked into law firms.
Although many lawyers are unwilling to think this way, there can more overall security in freelancing than in the full-time space. When freelancers lose one client, they still have their other clients and the know-how to acquire more. As full-time lawyers lose their jobs in the legal sector, they often face not being able to find a comparable one - or any practicing law. In addition, they have no idea how to put themselves out there as a freelancer.
Not that freelancing is a walk in the park. The market keeps shifting. Last week, three clients hated my first draft for them. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience "turning around" what isn't working for a specific client. Here it is Sunday and I have three now-happy clients.