Everything About Freelance Attorneys | Lawyerist Podcast #388


Episode No: 388

Abstract

What is it like hiring a freelance attorney? What were the benefits of working as one? In this episode, Zack and Kristin Tyler, of LawClerk, talk with lawyers Sarah Jewell and Jason Lawrence about their experience working together through the LawClerk platform.

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Points of Note:

  • 8:57 — Virtual Associates and Freelance Lawyers
  • 17:55 — Law Clerk giving you freedom and flexibility
  • 23:38 — What type of work can you outsource to LawClerk?

Speakers

Zack Glaser

Zack Glaser is the Legal Tech Advisor at Lawyerist, where he assists the Lawyerist community in understanding and selecting appropriate technologies for their practices. He also writes product reviews and develops legal technology content helpful to lawyers and law firms. Zack is focused on helping Modern Lawyers find and create solutions to help assist their clients more effectively.

LawClerk

LAWCLERK launched in 2018 and has quickly grown to be the leading online marketplace for freelance lawyers. LAWCLERK is where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers and virtual associates.  We make solo practitioners and law firms more profitable by outsourcing projects to thousands of freelance lawyers with all levels of experience and expertise.  There are two flexible ways to outsource with LAWCLERK.  First, you can post Project based work to our marketplace.  The hiring attorney sets the flat fee price for the work and selects the top applicant. You can also leverage the power of LAWCLERK through our Virtual Associate Subscription Program.  This subscription based program allows a growing law firm to hire as much – or as little – of a virtual associate as they need on a monthly basis starting at just 20 hours.  The hiring attorney gets to select the experience level and set how many hours of help they want each month in increments of ten hours. There are no sign up fees to join LAWCLERK and there are no monthly fees.  Now’s the time to get the help you need to grow your firm!

Episode Transcript

Transcript automatically created.

INTRO 

Announcer  (00:03):

Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts

Zack (00:35):

Hey, I’m Zach Glaser, the legal tech advisor here at Lawyerist. And this is episode 388 of the Lawyerist podcast. Today we’re diving into another sponsored podcast episode, and these were joined by a legal voice or company. And we discussed the newest features, happenings and trends in the legal world. Again, we’re excited to offer these episodes to our audience and we hope you enjoy them today. I’m joined by one of Law Clerks, founders, Kristin Tyler. We’re talking with attorneys, Sarah Jewel and Jason Lawrence about their experience working together through the Law Clerk platform.

Sara (01:06):

Good morning. Um, I’m Sarah Jewel, I’m the owner of River Valley Line Wake Park, Minnesota. I’ve been working with Law Clerk since the fall of 2021. Specifically started with Jason who’s here today. It’s been an excellent experience for me and my firm. I just opened my doors, July 6th, 2021, and found that I was inundated with so much work. I had no idea the deluge that was going to take place and ramped up with staff realized I needed help and found Law Clerk. And it was amazing. It’s been an awesome experience for me,

Zack (01:43):

Sarah. Thank thanks for being with us. Uh, I appreciate it. That’s a great position to be in where, you know, you open your doors and just more work than you can handle. That’s fantastic, but it’s still, it’s a good problem to have still a problem.

Sara (01:56):

Right? Everyone says that it’s a good problem to have and I suppose it is, but it’s, it gets really stressful when things start piling up. I do a lot of litigation as Jason is aware of, uh, with a lot of court deadlines and those court and post deadlines cannot easily be changed or altered. And you really don’t wanna ask too many times for a favor, so, right.

Zack (02:16):

Fantastic. Well, let’s, let’s get around with everybody here and we’ve got Jason Lawrence here as well. If you’ll give us kind of a little bit of background, that’d be great.

Jason (02:24):

I’m a 2009 graduate of the university of Chicago law school and practiced in the twin cities. And that ended up being the Minnesota connection that Sarah was looking for that, um, led us to our relationship of working together last fall. And then I practiced in Pittsburgh before moving here to Des Moines, Iowa, where up until COVID, I was in private practice as an associate. And I just found that COVID really changed the world for me and sort of played into what I was already thinking about the legal profession and that I wanted flexibility and that I wanted to be in more control of the work, um, that I did. So mm-hmm <affirmative> that led me to law clerk and I really loved the idea of the virtual associate model that they had, where I could work for people on a contract basis, all over the country.

Jason (03:23):

Right. And that’s what I did working for Sarah in Minnesota, and then another lawyer, um, out in Utah. And then it just happened that basically a dream job sort of, for me, um, as an assistant us attorney in the civil division here in the Southern district of Iowa, opened up working with a friend of mine that I’ve known for over a decade. So I applied for that and was fortunate enough to be offered that position and ended the Law Clerk thing here last, um, February, but really just to get away from sort of the big law life that I had known mm-hmm <affirmative> and be more in control of my practice, just focused on doing good work and, um, working for good people. So that’s what led me to law clerk and then here in the us attorney’s office.

Zack (04:10):

Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, and we’ve got Kristin Tyler here as well, since we’re talking about Law Clerk and Kristin you’re, the, the owner and, and CEO and, and I guess doer of all things over at, at Law Clerk

Kristin (04:25):

Title do of all things. I’m not the CEO. That’s my co-founder Greg. Oh, I’m, I’m sorry. I am one of the, the three co-founders on the team at lock clerk. I’m also an attorney and I’m just so excited to be here today and talk some more and help bring the story to life of what lock Clark is doing across the country for thousands of lawyers, how it’s impacting people like Sarah and Jason, and hopefully just making the legal profession a little bit better, a little bit stronger.

Zack (04:50):

Right. Right. Well, and Chris and I, I wanted to kind of start with you and hearkening to what Jason had said about how COVID has changed a lot of how we practice and how we want to practice, you know, with law clerk, you’re creating a platform for, you know, associates and attorneys to connect with each other and work with each other. What started this, this idea?

Kristin (05:15):

Well, that goes back to something that Greg and lyth and I went through, um, in around 20 14, 20 15, where we were at a much larger regional firm, larger firm, like what Jason was talking about. And we left to start our own boutique firms much smaller because like Jason was saying, we wanted, uh, better lifestyle to be in more control of the cases than the clients we were working on, et cetera, et cetera. But through that process of going from the bigger firm with, you know, roughly like 60 attorneys to the smaller boutique firm of initially it was 15, which is still pretty big mm-hmm <affirmative>, but comparably smaller, we found that we miss a couple of key things. Okay. So we live in Las Vegas, we practice in Las Vegas, I’m an estate planner, but there are times where my estate planning clients have issues come up like gaming issues like, oh, I have a client who owns a casino inside their gas station <laugh>.

Kristin (06:03):

And so I need to be able to walk down the hall and talk to a gaming attorney to say, Hey, what do I need to do? We’re making this trust, make sure we’re covering all our base. So we wanted to be able to tap into expertise and situations like that, but that doesn’t happen every day. It doesn’t make sense for my small boutique firm to have a gaming attorney on staff, but to be able to go to someone in a freelance capacity when those gaming issues come up and get the knowledge and the expertise is fantastic. And above that, we also found that when you leave the big firm, you know, there’s just times where you need more people, more attorneys on your team, whether you’re getting ready for trial, whether opposing counsel just dropped, you know, a mountain of documents on you and you need to get through them as quickly as possible, right?

Kristin (06:42):

There’s tons of situations where you need more attorneys, maybe for a period of a few weeks or months. And that’s a great time again, to be able to tap into freelance talent. So when you combine these two needs of needing expertise, needing more attorneys occasionally, and it was also the time period where things like Uber and Airbnb were becoming really normal. Like it was normal to get into a stranger’s car, not a taxi <laugh> and get a ride somewhere. It was normal to go rent a room from a stranger in their house and sleep there instead of at the hotel on your vacation. And we just saw a big opportunity to bring that same marketplace concept to legal mm-hmm <affirmative> and try to shake things up and, you know, then going, so that was, you know, we launched in 2018 mm-hmm <affirmative> and immediately we’re finding clients all across the country, but, you know, you kind of started to ask about COVID and the impact, right.

Kristin (07:32):

And holy smokes, wow. <laugh> this pandemic has moved the legal industry light ages forward in terms of adapting, remote work, adapting technology in a way that I don’t think our profession would’ve ever done on its own mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, remote work. People know how to do it now, even, you know, the senior partner that is always in the office, maybe the senior partner still goes to the office, but they’re used to working with their associate who is working from home or working from wherever. So it’s really moved that forward. And it’s also created just an overwhelming number of opportunities for anyone who like Jason wants to very mindfully, you know, even temporarily choose a different career option and do some freelance work.

Zack (08:15):

Right. Well, so I, I think the, the first question I generally have when I’m thinking about freelance work, remote work across state lines is sure, you know, we, we all have our, our licenses. They’re connected to certain states. I know Jason is licensed in Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania. And so he, he can practice there. But, and so in this situation with Sarah, he actually is licensed to practice where she was, you know, needing his assistance, but that’s not necessarily imperative here, you know, because that’s not how law clerk is necessarily set up that and correct me if I’m wrong. Kristen, we’re operating under the attorney who, who has asked for the works license.

Kristin (08:57):

Exactly, exactly. So this is really kind of the secret sauce of what has opened up law clerk and opened up attorneys to be able to leverage the talent of freelance lawyers, no matter where their license is, that our scope of work is limited to the written work mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so that means helping with research, drafting documents, helping with discovery, helping with all of that written work, that’s really time consuming mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so by limiting the scope of the work for our freelancers to those types of tasks, which by the way, is the kind of work that majority of our freelancers wanna do anyways. Right? A lot of them don’t wanna be interacting with clients are going to court that opens it up because then the hiring attorney is the supervising attorney. They don’t have an, have to have an active license in that state.

Kristin (09:39):

As long as the hiring attorney is supervising. That’s how we keep everyone compliant with any, uh, U P L concerns. So that’s the, the gist of it. Now, of course there are instances where we work with clients that for whatever reason, there’s nuances in state law or whatnot, they want a freelancer license in their state. Great. Sure, sure. We can work with that too, because we know there are instances where it makes sense and it’s something that needs to be required. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and the good news is now we have thousands and thousands and thousands of Lance lawyers in all 50 states, all practice areas. Um, and so it’s become much easier to be able to accommodate those needs so we can, can work with you on that.

Zack (10:15):

Fantastic. Well, so let, let’s jump into Sarah and Jason here, Sarah and Jason are two attorneys that have found each other and, and had created a working relationship through law clerk. Sarah, you’re the hiring attorney in this scenario. Can you tell us a little bit about what was going on in your firm and, and you touched on it a little bit when you decided to get help from a freelance lawyer and to reach out to a company like Law Clerk.

Sara (10:42):

Right? So I, one of the things in opening my firm last summer, I really did want to be pushing forward with technology. Mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, that’s something that I’ve just noticed in, you know, prior firms with different, I guess, difficult to change attitudes that, you know, we don’t want to try that we don’t wanna have to learn something new and I’m not the newest kid on the block, but I I’m very open to trying those things and wanting to push forward with technology. Mm-hmm <affirmative> my thought process was, well, you know, I’m very active in our state bar association, and usually they do a technology seminar every so often. And the law clerk was one of the vendors, I guess, that they had, you know, stated, Hey, this has been vetted by our bar association. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And I put a lot of trust in that.

Sara (11:31):

So I thought, you know, why not? I am drowning in work. I need help. I’m going to give them a call. So I reached out to Josh, uh, harm, which is my, uh, law clerk rep ended up being my law clerk rep. And, you know, honestly I was a little skeptical at first mm-hmm <affirmative> um, he did tell me right away about Jason and I was like, well, let me think about it in a little bit. Just, it still was kind of jumping off the cliff, so to speak. Right. But, you know, after looking at my workload piling up and of course Jason’s credentials were amazing. I mean, it wasn’t him per se. It was more my right. My level of just, you know, it is, it is a little bit of the unknown mm-hmm <affirmative>, but I thought, you know, it’s a month to month thing. Why not try it out? And so we got connected and, and, you know, I, Jason blew me away. The whole program has blown me away. And, and I’ve told Kristen that in the past that, you know, we’re it not for law clerk, I would not have been able to scale up my firm how quickly I have. And we’ve, it’s just been more than I could have ever dreamed. I, I mean, it sounds so cliche, but it’s truly mind blowing. I’m just mind blowing.

Zack (12:33):

Well, so you obviously had kind of a tentative relationship initially, you, you didn’t necessarily want to get over that hump. What got you over that reservation initially, because like you said, you know, Jason’s credentials were, were great. And so the potential service looking wonderfully, but it’s really the, like, do I want to make this leap? Like what, what got you past that?

Sara (12:58):

You know, I think it was conducting the interview, you know, Josh lined up at zoom interview with myself and Jason mm-hmm <affirmative> and just, you know, getting to connect the personality, you know, the person with the resume and talking through these are the types of things that I need help with. Is that something you’re interested in doing and just, you know, Jason’s excitement of, yes, I’d love to work on these type of projects. This is just what I need. And I think that reassured me that okay, you know, he’s enthusiastic. And I think he’s willing to really jump in and, and do a good job for my clients because it is the client relationship that I have to Tor protect and right. And obviously the buck stops with me in terms of supervision of all the mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, vendors and employees that I work with. But, um, I think that, that was it. Jason won me over. So <laugh>

Zack (13:45):

Well, so, so I’ve got a, another question. Have you ever used something like fiber, you know, like another sort of platform to, to connect with people like this?

Sara (13:55):

No,

Zack (13:56):

Cause this, for me, this seems like all the good things of that and none of the, none of the bad, you know, where you go in and you, this person has been vetted already, you know, our licenses kind of vet us in, in, in a first level, but then they’ve also had to submit resume and all of this to law clerk and law clerk being that they were built by attorneys knows kind of what is, is needed there. So, um, I was just curious if, if this was a different experience or if you’d had an experience with something like this previously,

Sara (14:29):

No, this was it. And, and it’s been phenomenal for me. I mean, I’ve continued with, you know, with Jason and, and that was the foundation of it for me. And then as he transitioned out of the work with law clerk, um, we ended up going with actually two additional, it took two people to

Zack (14:47):

<laugh>

Sara (14:47):

<laugh> although truly the workload has continued to increase. And I, that has just, again been, you know, a complete mind blow, but the quality of work is amazing. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and saves me a ton of time.

Zack (15:00):

Well, so let let’s, let’s go to Jason. Let’s just start at the beginning. What, what prompted you? And I think, again, you hinted at this, in your introduction, what prompted you to even start doing this? To give freelancing a try?

Jason (15:13):

So with COVID I saw, I had like a moment where, um, the firm I was with once people got vaccinations, just sort of said, all right, like vaccines are out there. You know, we expect you now to be back in the office 40 plus hours a week. And I was like, I’m not going to go back to sort of the pre COVID. And mm-hmm, <affirmative> what I thought was just sort of a dinosaur mentality. I knew that wasn’t the culture, um, I thought would lead to growth for my career in the long run. Right. So that was sort of a defining moment for me. And I kind of looked at my career going, you know, in the direction of just continuing on at law firms or giving up, you know, maybe the high end income realization, potential of being there of making partner, but having that trade off with freedom mm-hmm <affirmative>.

Jason (16:06):

And I really wanted to orient my life and my practice at that point around freedom and what I did, um, when I was working with Sarah. Um, and then Jared, um, like last December, once things seemed to be getting better and it was healthier to travel. I spent, um, 30 days from December to mid-February, um, at a really cheap hotel room at the Rio in Vegas. So I was doing work, um, out in, uh, Kristen’s beautiful Las Vegas, escaping these, um, Midwest winners that we know all about also getting my work done and being somewhere I could then go outside and enjoy, you know, mountains and 50, 60 degrees weather walk around and just that’s sort of the life that I was hoping, um, to build until, you know, I found out about this position here is a us attorney, which let me then sort of move, give up the freedom access, but move away from the billable hour requirement and just, you know, come somewhere where I can focus on doing good work and some weeks that’s 50 or 60 hours, you know, other weeks it’s 40.

Jason (17:15):

Um, but just, you know, not ultimately have to be worried about the economic, um, production side of the practice and just focus on being a lawyer. And I think that’s sort of the middle ground where, what law clerk, let me do what this job lets me do is just focus on the, being a lawyer part mm-hmm <affirmative> and doing good legal work while leaving the client relationships, the generating business, all of that side to the attorney that I was working with on Lockford. So that for me is what led me to Lockford and then, you know, what led me away, but it’s really just a question of values and how I wanted to structure my career.

Zack (17:55):

Yeah. That that’s, I, I think the way you say it there, the, the values, it sounds like, although this was a transitional period for you, this, this allowed you to transition from one thing to another, that wasn’t what drove this. It was the, the flexibility and had there not been this other position that again, kind of came in and because you had flexibility, you were able to apply for it. Had there not been this other position you might have continued with that flexibility, um, through, through law clerk. Oh

Jason (18:24):

Yeah. My goal was to build up. Um, I was looking to build up a portfolio of, you know, 80 to 120 hours or so a month of, um, contract work that would let me make a salary like overall of any year that I would’ve been happy with and paid the bills and lived that sort of life, um, that I wanted to, um, at least before inflation took off, I probably would’ve had to <laugh> recalculated a bit the last few months, but, um, you know, that was, um, the vision that I had for my career. And then it just took this incredible opportunity that comes open, you know, maybe once every five, 10 years or longer here and Iowa in this office, just coming open outta the, to get me to move away from that.

Zack (19:11):

Mm-hmm. So, um, have you hired, uh, associates remote or otherwise in the past?

Sara (19:21):

No, I, I haven’t really needed to mm-hmm <affirmative>, I’ve been able to fill that pipeline of work. That’s coming down with the law clerk associates, if you will, you know, my virtual law clerks mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, and I, I, like I say, I have had to hire two or engage, you know, with two different, uh, associate attorneys, like through that process. And even one, I think I increased or bumped their hours up just last month because I had even more things coming down, you know, than what I could manage, but no, I, I, I haven’t needed to, it’s been just, uh, an awesome thing for me. And I, I guess I, I, I just can’t say enough about it because it’s something that I just feel like dovetailed in exactly with the timing of me. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> starting my firm, you know, not really understanding the volume of work that was going to be, you know, coming my way in such a short amount of time, and then being able to reach out and find law clerk as that resource to fill that gap that I needed and then scale that up as I’ve needed more.

Sara (20:24):

Right. Which has been amazing. And I guess I just wanna make sure I add, you know, Jason’s a great example. I’ve been able to tap as a solo practitioner, some just amazing talent that I could not honestly afford. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I mean, let’s just be practical, uh, with what we have going on. Yes, we have a good workload, but, you know, in terms of trying to recruit someone and, and the other thing is location, I don’t really have the greatest location for recruiting, you know, phenomenal talent because of where we’re located an hour away from the Metro Minneapolis St. Paul, it’s a frequent theme. I hear from other members of our local bar association who have much larger firms than I do. Mm-hmm <affirmative> that they cannot keep, they can maybe attract talent, but they cannot keep them maybe longer than a year or two. And then they’re, you know, recruited back down to the Metro because it is only about an hour drive away. Right. So it’s easy move. And so with that, all in the backdrop, you know, I’m able to, you know, affordably scale it up and that’s just, you know, why I like it so much.

Zack (21:31):

<laugh> well, so at, at this point you’ve hired at at least three associates through law clerk. Ha have the other two, obviously your experience with Jason, uh, went, went phenomenally well, mm-hmm <affirmative> ha have the other two been, been, um, solid experiences as well in hiring them.

Sara (21:48):

Absolutely. And obviously everybody’s got slightly different, you know, personalities, but mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so you learn to kind of work and adapt what each person’s needs are, but that’s, that’s been working great for me. And I I’ve sort of now figured out with my own system to, I wanna send certain types of files, you know, to the one law clerk and maybe other types of files to another law clerk. And we are able to sort of manage that internally mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, by having file meetings and setting up zoom calls when we need to, or phone conferences and, you know, talk through, here’s a new file that came in, you know, here’s kind of the history and background on it. Do you have any questions and that kind of thing. So it it’s worked very well. I think from, from my perspective, hopefully they would say the same thing <laugh>

Zack (22:32):

Well, so in that, in, in, in looking at them and, and in seeing that, that your current associates have different talents, what is your assessment of the talents of the options that you have through Law Clerk?

Sara (22:47):

It it’s been amazing. I can, I can tap, you know, when you think of associate, at least when I think of an associate, you’re thinking of someone with, you know, less experience. So they, they may or may not be right out of law school. They may have two or three years under their belt. Well, with the associates, I, this is like me doing air quote <laugh>, I’m able to get people with, you know, um, 10 or possibly 20 years of experience who yeah. You know, have made a shift like Jason described earlier where, you know, I think COVID did cause people to rethink things, including myself. I mean, I’m one of those people who did the spinoff, like Kristen was mentioning earlier, I was in a firm with other attorneys and decided, you know, I think I wanna do something different and go in a different direction here. And I find a lot of people are like that, which I would never have realized had I not tapped in with law clerk. So

Zack (23:38):

<laugh>, well, it, it sounds like both of you actually got a lot of flexibility out of, out of the moves y’all made. Right, right around. And, and before law clerk. So Jason kind of was asking about what her assessment of the, what people are capable of doing, what is the type of work that you’ve been able to do through law clerk?

Jason (23:57):

Um, so I’ve been a litigator, um, my whole career mm-hmm <affirmative>. So it was, um, just finding lawyers, um, who have litigation practices, um, all stages, you know, initially developing a case to briefing, to discovery, getting it ready for trial. But that’s what I, those are the opportunities that I was looking for. Um, especially with, um, briefing, um, dispositive motions, um, appellate briefing. That, that’s what I enjoy the most. Um, mm-hmm, <affirmative> writing research and that’s where my strengths were. So those were the sorts of opportunities and practices that I specifically, um, searched out. It was easy to filter out if you saw something that was estate planning or transactional, I just knew, you know, that wasn’t, for me, wouldn’t hit the apply button or anything. Right. Of looking for lawyers, um, who were specifically looking for litigation help, that those were the opportunities that I focused on.

Jason (24:57):

And the law clerk, law clerk platform is, was really helpful in that there were, you know, individual one off sort of project based assignments. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, which, you know, for me personally, um, you know, depending on your style of work, I didn’t think those were necessarily for me. Um, personally, I was looking for the subscription models in the website, lets you filter those out and you get an email with a report each day when new ones are posted to see if there are opportunities you like that you want to apply for. And that’s what I was really looking for was the chance to build up a stable, recurring, um, income over time and get to that portfolio. Like I said, around a hundred hours or so a month. And you know, they had designed the website and everything really well to give you notice of those opportunities and make sure you got a chance to get in there and apply for the ones you felt would be a good fit for you. Mm-hmm

Zack (25:52):

<affirmative> well, so talking about the, the subscription versus the kind of like project based stuff, going back to Sarah, what was kind of your calculus in deciding to go with somebody that was subscription based as opposed to saying, okay, well I have this, this discrete project that I can have somebody to do.

Sara (26:12):

You know, I, I guess I wanted someone to that I knew I had on hold, if you will, or, you know, mm-hmm <affirmative>, that was just gonna be available to me whenever. And with the one off project, you know, it didn’t really fit the flow of litigation. Like Jason was talking about, you know, we have pretrial discovery, we have possibly pretrial motions. Uh, we have, you know, discovery documents that need to be reviewed and, and identified. And so it became apparent to me pretty early into the process of talking with my, my law clerk, uh, representative Josh, that that was really gonna fit the workflow that we had going on here. And it proved to be true. I mean, it, it just was exactly what we needed in terms of, okay, here’s the next step. So it really is in that way, similar to having an in-house associate mm-hmm <affirmative> because they’re tracking with the flow of the case from start to finish, you know, and, and that is obviously very helpful.

Sara (27:05):

And you know, I always have to keep in mind as well, filling this out to the clients. And so that’s been a, another amazing thing about law clerk because I’m able to still, you know, build this out to clients because I’m not doubling up on the workload. So if someone in law clerk program is doing a document review, they’re gonna flag for me and kind of highlight, these are the key ones you need to look at. This is what’s gonna be relevant. And I obviously still review it all, but I, I can be guided, you know, through that process. And especially too with drafting, that’s just amazing. And of course still is a value add to the client

Zack (27:41):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> well, so Kristen, let’s, let’s talk about the actual platform here. You know, we we’ve discussed the, the theoretical ideas behind this and, and Sarah and Jason’s experience with the platform. How are people vetted? How, how do we keep kind of like, um, uh, reins on everything and make sure that, that people like Sarah are happy and people like Jason are happy with their relationship with each other.

Kristin (28:11):

Sure, sure. We do a number of things to help provide the best experience possible for all the lawyers on site. So number one, at the GetGo, you know, you brought up services like fiber mm-hmm <affirmative>. I talk to attorneys all the time. Who’ve used Craigslist, Upwork, all those services to find freelance lawyers. And you know, one of the things that’s unique to our service is when you sign up, you have to provide proof that you really say you are, and right. And then we go verify that you’re an attorney upstanding. So when you register for an account, you have to provide a selfie with a picture of you with your driver’s license ring, a bell, Sarah ring, a bell, Jason, then yeah. <laugh> uh, to make sure you’re really an attorney. So, you know, it’s, this is an, an exclusive website for attorneys, cuz as you can probably imagine at least once a month, we have a consumer who tries to sign up because they need help with their divorce.

Kristin (28:58):

Right. It’s always help with the divorce <laugh> um, so on the onset, you know, we are actively making sure people are, uh, attorneys and in good standing, we go back and re-review all of the freelancers standing with their state bar once a year. Um, so we do a once a year review now going over to the other side, um, let’s talk about the freelancers first. So one of the most common things I hear from Lance lawyers all across the country, because there really is a growing segment of the industry of attorneys who are doing what Jason had set out to do before this. Yeah. You know, what’s on lifetime opportunity where they wanna build a book of business as a freelance lawyer. And one of the biggest problems these folks encounter is occasionally they get stiffed mm-hmm <affirmative> they do a whole bunch of work for someone and the attorney for whatever reason doesn’t honor the deal.

Kristin (29:45):

Um, and so that is something that the freelance lawyers with law clerk don’t have to worry about. Right. Um, so we, when a person posts a project on law clerk, so like one piece of work, the moment they assign that work to a freelance lawyer, we charge their credit card for the fee. Okay. And we hold the money until they tell us the work’s done and that they’re happy with it. I’ll come back to that. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but so the, the freelancer has peace of mind knowing that we’re holding that money. And um, if a dispute comes up about the work product or something happens, the work doesn’t get done on time. Because as you can probably imagine with thousands of lawyers all across the country, occasionally things happen mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, people get freelancer and yeah. People get sick mm-hmm <affirmative> we had a freelancer die.

Kristin (30:27):

Oh, you know, like it’s rare, but like life happens. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so, you know, when life happens and the work doesn’t go as planned, we have an internal process to review the work, see what’s fair. Um, and we do provide a money back guarantee to the hiring attorney. So if you’re not happy with the work, we’re gonna get your money back to you. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. But oftentimes we end up still paying them out of our own pocket because we know they’ve done good work. Maybe the attorney didn’t provide the best instructions. Maybe the attorney wasn’t responsive to questions mm-hmm <affirmative> but those are things that we help try to teach our attorneys, the hiring attorneys, how to do better the next time, but we wanna make sure the freelancers get paid for the works they do because we value them immensely. Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> um, no, let’s go over to the hiring attorney side.

Kristin (31:09):

So, um, again, I’ve already mentioned the money back guarantee on all of the projects that gives a lot of attorneys that peace of mind to get over their mental roadblock. Like Sarah had initially to give a try. Um, and so that’s a big help. Um, and then with the subscription process, you know, we have a lot of a more in-depth hiring process so that you get to know the candidate before you’re committing to working with them. But there again, it’s only a 30 day bind commitment with the program. So that’s not a long term contract by anying because we know work can E and flow mm-hmm <affirmative> some months you need to flex up or down. Another really big advantage to working with a service like lock clerk is we provide every single hiring attorney with what we call a dedicated law clerk, advisor, and Sarah mention and hers, Josh, who is wonderful.

Kristin (31:56):

They’re all wonderful. Um, these advisors are kind of like your personal consultant, your coach, uh, to help you get the hang of delegating work to other attorneys, because there’s something different to that than giving work to a paralegal or an assistant, you know, these substantive issues. And how do you facilitate that process? I always like to say that delegation is an art, you know, you need to practice it a few times. Oh yeah. You’re not. You’re rarely gonna hit it out of the ballpark on the first at bat mm-hmm <affirmative>. But um, these advisors, each work with a couple hundred attorneys across the country. And so they see how other attorneys like you are successfully delegating successfully getting more work, done successfully, making more money for their firm and they can help you do the same thing. So really lean on that advisor. It’s a free service, you know, there’s no cost to sign up for lock park. There’s no monthly fee. We provide these advisors, no cost because we want to help you succeed with outsourcing and getting the help you need to power your firm. Just like Sarah’s illustrated today.

Zack (32:57):

Mm-hmm, <affirmative> fantastic. Kristin, I, I could talk to you guys, you and Sarah and Jason for, you know, an hour, two hours or forever about this, cuz this is a fascinating thing to me, but we, we, uh, it’s about all the time that we have. If people want to learn more about law clerk, Kristin, where, where can they go?

Kristin (33:15):

Well, come visit us on the web mm-hmm <affirmative>, uh, lawclerk.legal. Um, there’s also some information about us on the lawyer’s website as well. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and you know, you can schedule a demo there. If you wanna know more about freelancing or you wanna know more about hiring and getting help either from projects or subscription mm-hmm <affirmative> um, of course we have a ton of resources on there as well. Uh, right now on the top Navy blue banner of the website, if you click on a tab called attorney resources, we have, um, a bunch of different guides for every, a lot of different practice areas of law, all the major ones. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, we’re adding more all the time, but that can also give you some good ideas about things you could and should be delegating to process your workflow and you know, quit pulling those Allnighters and doing all the things yourself, which lawyers tend to do.

Zack (34:01):

Right. Right. Well, thank you. So yeah. If anybody wants to learn more about law clerk, they can go to law clerk, legal, um, Kristin, Jason, Sarah. Thank you guys very much for, for being with us. I, I really enjoyed our chat.

Kristin (34:14):

Thank you.

Zack (34:15):

Likewise. Thank you.

Sara (34:17):

Thanks. Thanks.

Announcer  (34:19):

The lawyer’s podcast is edited by Britney. Felix, are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First, if you haven’t read the small firm roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book. Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities are right for you. Head to lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10 minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by legal talk network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you.



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