Contract lawyers can play an essential role in managing workflow. Here are five quick tips from Law Practice Today on using freelancers effectively:
- Get client consent.
- Decide whether the contract lawyer will have client contact (if so, this affects the contract lawyer’s liability coverage status in Oregon).
- Supervise! Overseeing the work of a contract lawyer is your ethical duty. Outsourcing lawyers should also be sensitive to the impression the contract lawyer makes on the client, particularly if they engage in client communication.
- Beware of potential unauthorized practice of law. Ensure the contract lawyer is licensed to deliver services in the state of the client’s legal issue.
- Don’t hesitate to bill for the contract lawyer’s services at prevailing market rates. I would add: include this cost (or fee) in your client engagement letter.
If you are considering hiring a contract lawyer (or want to offer your services on a contract basis), check out the following resources from the Professional Liability Fund:
- Contract Lawyers Checklist
- Contract Project – Letter of Understanding
- Contract Project Intake Sheet
- Independent Contractors or Employees
- Letter Declining Contract Project
From the PLF home page, select Practice Management > Forms > Contract Lawyering. A number of CLEs are also available under the CLE > Past CLE heading:
- Contract Lawyers CLE: Conflicts
- Contract Attorneys: Managing Expectations and Getting Paid
- Practical Contract Lawyering
To learn about Oregon malpractice coverage for contract lawyers and qualifying for a “supervised attorney” exemption, contact the PLF at 503.639.6911 or 800.452.1639 and ask for Jeff Crawford or Emilee Preble.
The Oregon Women Lawyers operate a Contract Lawyers Listserve for members. To join or use the service, visit the OWLS website.
All Rights Reserved – 2018 – Beverly Michaelis