In the last few years, the number of freelance workers in the UK has grown from 2 million to an impressive 4.8 million. Freelancers of all ages, experience levels, and educational backgrounds are needed across industries. It is clear that the new workplace (for many) will be outside of the standard office cubicle within the coming decades.
As you begin your journey toward becoming a lawyer, you may be wondering if it is possible for those with a law background to work as a freelancer. The short answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ Rather than working in a law office for hours each day, many new lawyers in the UK are pursuing remote opportunities. Explore some of the benefits of and strategies for becoming a freelance lawyer.
Travel opportunities as a freelance lawyer
In 2011 (one of the latest years that data was made available), there were 118,000 certificate-holding solicitors in England and Wales. At that time, “nearly three-quarters of solicitors work[ed] in private practice.” However, due to the changing nature of working in law, your opportunities are rapidly evolving. Enjoy the idea of travelling while working remotely? There are now companies that offer freelance opportunities for lawyers that are location independent. Thanks to technology, meetings can be held online, and documents can be sent through secure channels. For those who desire the opportunity to travel as much as possible, finding and applying with one of these companies is an excellent choice.
Choose your workload
It isn’t uncommon for lawyers in the UK to work 60 to 70 hours per week. For those who want to work in law, yet need to work fewer hours than average, freelancing provides this opportunity. This is especially helpful for new mums who are looking to reduce the amount of hours worked, as well as for those getting close to retirement. One company interviewed for The Guardian stated that the freelance solicitors who work for them “get to select jobs with clients that suit their skills and interests and fit with how they want to work.” This means that lawyers can choose which jobs they work, as well as how many jobs they work. Work that is commonly available to freelance lawyers includes review of contracts, employment law matters, and drafting of agreements.
Escaping the standard office work schedule and environment
Every person learns and works best under different circumstances. This is especially true when it comes to one’s work schedule and environment. Some individuals are naturally more productive in the evening hours, while others are best as early-risers. Others enjoy a busy, active environment, whereas some need complete silence to focus. Instead of the one-size-fits-all model of an office environment, freelance lawyers can choose where and when they work. Future lawyers who are looking for flexibility in their schedule and work environment should consider freelancing as a top choice.
Although there are almost always going to be standard law offices, working as a freelance lawyer is now a viable option. Not only does it provide added opportunities to travel, but it also allows lawyers to choose their workload, work environment, and working hours.