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Freelance Contract Lawyers: Is That a Thing?

Updated: March 28, 2023
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What is a Freelance Contract Attorney?

Small business owners and start-up companies know that every decision they make has to be about their bottom line. Whenever possible, they need to outsource tasks and work with freelancers. But what about when it comes to legal matters? Are freelance contract lawyers a thing?

Understanding What a Freelancer Is

Pretty much any profession can be done on a freelance basis. In essence, freelancers are independent contractors who either work from home or a remote location. They might call themselves consultants, virtual employees, and virtual professionals, just to name a few. The key is that they are not tied to a single employer and have significant flexibility in their work.

How Freelancing Works for Contract Lawyers

When someone is a freelance contract lawyer, they generally work remotely, though some might offer to come to a job site on an as-needed basis. They can connect with clients through their own websites or through online marketplaces, such as ContractsCounsel.com. With this setup, contract lawyers can work with clients throughout their state, across the country, or even around the globe, depending on their licensing and areas of specialty.


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How Freelance Contract Lawyers Differ From Those at a Law Firm

When a law firm hires a contract lawyer, they expect them to be available full time and strictly to their clients. When working with a firm, these lawyers charge higher rates because they only keep a percentage and must build the firm’s cut into their rate.

Freelance contract lawyers might work with law firms, but as independent contractors. This gives them greater flexibility in their time, what clients they work with, and what they charge. However, many do not partner with firms, choosing to work from home with individual clients instead.

When to Hire a Freelance Contract Lawyer

The great thing about working with a freelance contract lawyer is you only have to turn to them when you have an active need. You do not pay to retain their services, and it is fine to go months without working with them. Whenever you need a new contract drafted, an old one reviewed, or assistance with enforcing one, seek out a freelance contract lawyer.

Know the Pros and Cons of Selecting a Freelance Contract Lawyer

The biggest benefits of opting for freelance contract lawyers over those with a law firm are the savings to you. Not only do they charger lower rates, but they don’t require regular payments or retainers to keep their time available to you.

When you opt to go freelance, you also have a lot of flexibility. You can work with a lawyer and if they don’t seem to be a good fit, move on to another. It is perfectly acceptable to switch counsel when it is the right decision for you.

The primary disadvantage of going freelance is that learning the quirks of your business and needs can take time, and when a lawyer is with you on a freelance basis, they may never get the chance to know your company intimately as an in-house lawyer would. However, you can select those with experience in your industry to ensure they are well positioned for easy onboarding.

Secure Your Business With a Vetted Freelance Contract Lawyer Near You

Iron-clad contracts protect your business and profits, and you can get these without breaking the bank by working with a freelance contract lawyer. Contracts Counsel is a boutique marketplace that only features vetted attorneys. Find contract lawyers who understand your industry through ContractsCounsel.com.

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I have been practicing law for 35 years. In addition to my law degree, I hold an MBA. I've created six companies, currently act as outside counsel to another 12, and have been an advisor to more than 500 startups and entrepreneurs.

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Danielle Giovannone is the principal of Danielle D. Giovannone Law Office. In her experience, Danielle has found that many business do not require in-house legal counsel, but still need outside counsel that knows their business just as well as in-house counsel. This need inspired Danielle to start her firm. Before starting her firm, Danielle served as Contracts Counsel at Siena College and as an attorney at the New York City Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel. At the NYCDOE, she served as lead counsel negotiating and drafting large-scale commercial agreements, including contracts with major technology firms on behalf of the school district. Prior to the NYCDOE, Danielle worked as an associate at a small corporate and securities law firm, where she gained hands-on experience right out of law school. Danielle has provided legal and policy advice on intellectual property and data privacy matters, as well as corporate law, formation and compliance, employer liability, insurance, regulatory matters, general municipal matters and non-profit issues. Danielle holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and a B.S. from Cornell University. She is active in her Capital District community providing pro bono services to the Legal Project, and has served as Co-Chair to the Niskayuna Co-op Nursery School and Vice President of Services to the Craig Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. Danielle is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

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Combining extensive experience in litigation and as general counsel for a real estate and private equity company, I provide ongoing guidance and support to clients on a variety of transactional matters, including business formation, partnership agreements, corporate agreements, commercial and residential leasing, and employment issues.

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