Eight Reasons Why a Solo Lawyer or Small Firm Should Outsource Appellate Briefing to a Freelance Appellate Specialist.
Posted on May 11, 2012
Next week I plan make the first of a series of posts on the topic of brief writing using the concept of storytelling. In this strategy, the case on appeal is cast as one of the many “stock stories” found in our literature and movies that can influence the subconscious mind of the reader of the brief to reach a favorable conclusion despite certain weaknesses in the case because the reader whose mind has accepted the stock story wants the story to end favorably. Be sure and find time to follow the three or four posts it will take to explain this writing strategy.
In the meantime, why not consider the reasons why you might turn for help on occasion to an experienced freelance attorney. An article on Lawerist.com, the leading blog about legal practice issues, makes note of six reasons. However, there are even more.
“Better service to your clients.” As noted in Lawyerist.com, by using a specialized freelance attorney you are able to concentrate your work on areas you are most proficient in while you your client receives the benefit of work as good or better than you could have delivered.
“More Money in Your Pockets.” Lawyerist.com recognizes that by outsourcing work you may not be proficient in to another attorney, you are able to accept other cases that may prove more profitable. In addition, as noted in ABA Opinion 00-420, an attorney is able to add a surcharge to the fee paid to the freelance lawyer when billing the client for legal services, as long as the total sum charged is reasonable. As one freelance attorney in Chicago puts it, “Borrow my experience, keep the profits.”
“Less stress.” This benefit is clearly recognizable if your busy practice allows insufficient time to adequately perform all the tasks that need to be completed in addition to preparing a lengthy brief. By outsourcing the job of drafting your brief to an appellate specialist, you rest easier knowing you’ll have time to meet your other demands.
“More flexibility in your schedule.” The Lawyerist.com notes that attorneys often have scheduling conflicts and the use of a freelance attorney at such times can be a solution to the problem without having to consider adding the cost of an associate to the firm.
“Reduce risk of a malpractice claim.” As Lawyerist.com notes, when you’re too busy, some things fall through the cracks and deadlines are missed. These are the sort of things that can lead to bar complaints and malpractice suits. Using a competent freelance lawyer to handle some of your tasks prevents this scenario from happening.
“Career satisfaction.” Lawyerist.com recognizes that an attorney overwhelmed with work or required to perform work he or she has little or no passion for leads to dissatisfaction in their career, but that hiring a freelance attorney to handle the time-consuming work you don’t enjoy can rejuvenate your love for the practice of law.
Avoiding have to hire (and potentially fire) an associate. If your practice has ups and downs in volume of work, you may have thought of hiring an associate to take on some of the more menial tasks of litigation. But that’s a big step to take, given the costs of a salary, benefits, payroll taxes, and other expenses. And if the workload drops, who wants to have to tell that associate he or she is no longer needed? Instead, hiring an experienced freelance attorney lets you hand off more complex tasks on an as needed basis at a reasonable, one-time cost.
A freelance attorney isn’t looking to take your clients. Perhaps your practice is busy enough that you consider referring work to attorneys in other firms. But in doing so you can lose that client to the other lawyer. By hiring a freelance attorney to take some of your workload you can have time to take on work for new clients, and then retain them.
If you feel you may need help writing a brief, contact me through the web site for my freelance legal writing service, Appeals and Briefs by Michael Skotnicki, Esq., found either through clicking the logo on this page or via this link, www.appealsandbriefs.com.