07
November 2017

Introducing Law to The Gig Economy: A Game-Changer for New Lawyers

Technology has shifted the way people work, creating countless new job opportunities over the past 20+ years. Many industries have adapted to this shift, which is why the gig economy has been steadily growing for a number of years.

When people think of the gig economy, they often think of web developers, freelance writers, graphic designers, etc. But even medical professionals have entered the gig economy, with websites that allow people to connect with a doctor in real-time at any given moment.

Non-traditional work arrangements drive the gig economy, and it’s only going uphill from here. In fact, 7.6 million Americans will be working in the gig economy by 2020, according to a study by Intuit Inc.

This doesn’t really mean much to lawyers, though. That’s because the legal industry is a bit behind the curve. Non-traditional work arrangements for lawyers are few and far between. And the non-traditional work options that lawyers do have don’t typically provide valuable opportunities to help them develop their careers.

Beyond that, there are even fewer opportunities that provide scalability for those lawyers seeking flexible work arrangements. That’s where project work comes into play. Project work is unique from other types of non-traditional work arrangements for lawyers. It can be much more than just ordinary, temporary work.

Below, we will explore how project lawyers can utilize project work and its inherent scalability as a way to develop their careers. Let’s get started.

What is scalability in the legal field?

Scalability means having the ability to increase or decrease something as-needed. Few non-traditional work opportunities provide scalability for lawyers, but project work does.

It works like this: More projects=more experience=more projects.

In other words, the more projects a lawyer works on, the more experience that lawyer will acquire, and the more likely he or she is to be hired for additional projects. On top of that, more experience also means more connections. And more connections means even more options for work.

That’s scalability at its finest – more experience, more work, more connections, rinse and repeat. It’s so important for lawyers to have scalable work as they develop their careers. And that’s exactly what project work provides – scalability.

Freedom and control

These are two words you don’t really think of when it comes to work, right? This is especially true if you’re a lawyer. But that’s the beauty of the gig economy, and lawyers can finally get a taste of what it’s like to have freedom and get paid doing what you want to be doing.

That being said, one of the main advantages of project work is that lawyers can control their workloads. Whether you’re looking for full-time projects or just a few hours per week, having access to a wide variety of projects helps lawyers find exactly the amount of work that they’re currently seeking.

You might even be able to work on a few smaller projects simultaneously in order to increase your workload. Or you might prefer to use project work to have fewer, but more consistent work hours over a longer time period. And if your work needs happen change at any given point in time, no problem.

Flexibility and career growth

Project work is totally flexible, so lawyers only work on projects they sign up for. This also creates an opportunity to gain way more experience over a much shorter period of time.

You can take on several completely different types of projects—all of your choosing—allowing you to grow your career faster than your full-time counterpart who you graduated law school with.

Not only does this promote career growth, but it also allows you to truly figure out what you enjoy doing the most within the industry—this will set you up for success when you do land a full-time job.

Where else in the job market can lawyers find that kind of scalability that’s uniquely designed to continually accommodate their workload needs or preferences as they change over time?

Choose how and when to work

Project work is also scalable in that lawyers can choose projects with remote work, office work, or a combination of both. That kind of scalability allows lawyers to adjust the extent of their remote and office work by simply choosing the projects that accommodate their preferences.

Project work also provides lawyers with scalability in terms of scheduling. Because projects are organized assignments, lawyers, after being hired for projects, can fill their schedules with project work in advance.

Plus, while projects are ongoing, lawyers can apply for future projects in order to have a better chance at maintaining more consistent work. Additionally, project work is an ideal way for lawyers to work while seeking permanent employment due to the tremendous schedule flexibility that project work can uniquely provide, which other types of traditional work cannot and do not.

Benefits of scalability for solo & new firms

Solo and new firms may not always have the amount of work that they’d like to have. Whatever the reason for needing or wanting to increase their workloads, project work provides the necessary scalability for attaining and maintaining workloads.

For a firm seeking to increase its workload, project work can be used to supplement the existing workload and thus, as a result, attain a more full workload. The scalability exists in the fact that the extent of supplemental project work can be continually varied based on current workloads anytime.

So, if business decreases for a little while, lawyers can work on more projects. And when business increases again later on, lawyers can work on fewer projects.

The takeaway

The scalability that project work affords to lawyers is unprecedented. Project work is uniquely structured to help lawyers achieve their desired workloads and work schedules on a continual basis.

Whether lawyers are looking for full-time, part-time, consistent, or infrequent work, project work is a scalable solution that can help lawyers develop their careers at a much faster pace.

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