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How to Become a Contract Attorney

published June 17, 2009

Silas Reed
( 413 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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If the usual world of the legal firm seems stifling to you, and if you are particularly drawn to legal cases involving the business world or medical practice, you may be able to make a career as a contract lawyer. Contract lawyers are like freelance lawyers; they aren't on retainer through a firm and they take cases on an individual contract basis. They work to fulfill a contract and don't worry about billable hours, as is the usual business practice with a law firm's lawyers.
 
How to Become a Contract Attorney

Obviously, this profession can be a double-edged sword. You trade some uncertainty about the future for more freedom. You are also distinct from an associate attorney; you likely won't be given the nicest office or be able to take advantage of the other perks of being a fully vested part of a legal firm. You have to take on this kind of law practice and business for the same reason that a freelance writer doesn't try to be a staff writer somewhere—you have to love your freedom as well as the practice of law. You will have to be a very responsible individual, too. Ultimately, you are your own boss, so you need to treat your contract lawyer practice like you're running your own business, which in a certain way you are.

Needless to say, you won't be doing any of this if you don't first have a law degree. Some law firms might pay you some money to do legal document reviews while you're just a law student, but you're not really going to get any outsourcing contracts unless you have at least your J.D. In the end, you'll need to pass the bar exam for you to be able to get your business thriving.

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