More About Lawyers and The "Gig Economy"
Much has recently been said and written about the so-called “gig economy," i.e., the practice of hiring independent contractors on a project basis to perform professional services once supplied by full-time employees. A recent RAND study revealed that the percentage of American workers engaged in alternative work arrangements – defined as temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract workers, and independent contractors or freelancers – rose from 10.1% to 15.8% over the last 10 years. See “The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015.”
Here are some other resources describing how experienced legal freelancers can benefit both law firms and their clients, and some of the professional and ethical issues involved:
Alderman, The Freelance Lawyering Manual, Erleichda Press (2011);
Feathers and Brown, “Contract Attorneys: How a Small Firm Can Reap Huge Benefits,” NYSBA Journal, February, 2011, at 36-39;
Ciano, “Loving the F-Word: Freelancing is Part of the New Normal,” Hennepin Lawyer, January/February 2016, at 17-19;
Minnesota Freelance Attorney Network, www.freelance-attorneys.com;
Giglia and Rowen, “Ethics of Contract Lawyering,” The Recorder, April 22, 2013;
ABA Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Formal Opinion 08-451 (August 5, 2008) (Outsourcing Legal and Nonlegal Support Services);
ABA Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Formal Opinion 00-420 (November 29, 2000) (Surcharge to Client for Use of a Contract Lawyer).