Need Freelance Attorneys And Paralegals?

Need Freelance Attorneys And Paralegals?

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(Image via Getty) With dramatic shifts in the legal market, law firms, in-house legal departments, and alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) are increasingly turning to freelance lawyers and paralegals to build their workforce. In turn, lawyers and paralegals may find their careers increasingly including contract and freelance work. This new world can feel overwhelming with a new legal marketplace concept popping up every month. To add to the confusion, some of these marketplaces are focused on helping consumer clients locate attorneys in violation of fee-sharing rules while others offer only independent contractor services which can cause penalties for improper worker classification and wage-and-hour claims. Here’s a breakdown of the four basic legal staffing concepts on the market to help candidates and clients sort through this new landscape, ensure compliance, and pick the concept that works best for their law practice or career, Staffing Solutions 1. Brick & Mortar Staffing Agencies: Traditional and “new law” concept staffing firms can help with direct and contract hiring services. These provide full payroll and employment compliance as well as professional liability insurance specific to staffing that adds an extra layer of protection for hirers and contractors. Further, the ABA model rules adopted by the majority of jurisdictions permit staffing services as not in violation of fee sharing. The downside is, brick and mortar agency processes tend to be less transparent and more manual, time-consuming, and expensive than online options. Candidates may find recruiters who are tasked with executing these manual processes and staffing many roles simultaneously are not responsive and hirers may not like the friction and time required to interface with a recruiter to access and communicate with candidates. Benefits: Dedicated recruiters In compliance with Model Rules of Professional Conduct Payroll and employment compliance services Temp and direct-hire options Ability to meet a wide range of staffing needs, including specialized and non-attorney roles Limitations: Fees tend to be higher than modern staffing solutions Non-transparent fee structures that may vary from project to project (or candidate to candidate) Some can find it clunky and time-consuming to go through a recruiter to connect with and communicate with candidates New Law staffing agency concepts that focus on attorneys with Fortune 500 and Am Law backgrounds can have rigid hour and length requirements requiring hirers to commit to 20-40 hours on a multi-month basis 2. Boutique Freelance “Platforms”: These services often call themselves marketplaces or platforms. They generally contain a marketing website through which a point person is contacted, much like an agency. These concepts offer independent contractor services without payroll and professional liability insurance. While they lack the services and compliance of agencies, often the fees are lower and more transparent and they also tend to offer more experienced and specialized attorneys. Benefits : Ability to connect with attorneys for a project basis License and identity verification High-touch, manual experience for the tech-adverse Fees generally lower for 1099 work than traditional agency concepts Focus on more experienced, specialized attorneys Limitations : No payroll or employment […]

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