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In 2013, she founded Intermix Legal Group, a network of freelance attorneys and those who want to hire them for piece work - projects like drafting pleadings and motions, helping with discovery and depositions, and handling trial preparation - without setting up their own full-time practices.
One attorney who has filled that gap is Kendra Morrill, who worked at Jones Day for 13 years and was given the flexibility to work part-time for several years toward the end. Morrill's path is an increasingly common one, says Zachary Ziliak, a Chicago lawyer who uses freelance attorneys. Among the advantages that Kanani sees to hiring freelancers are that you save on employee costs and overhead like office space, and you can work with a wide variety of freelance attorneys with expertise in different practice areas.
Instead of hiring what might be an entry-level full-time attorney, a solo or small firm can hire an attorney with between 5 and 15 years of experience, for $100 to $150 per hour with no benefits, whenever and for however long is necessary. Ziliak sees few problems with attorneys working remotely, aside from ensuring that they stay within their jurisdiction and keep client matters confidential. Ziliak acknowledges that working in the same physical space can encourage peer-to-peer learning, and his office space provides room for four attorneys, although he has nine attorneys working with him as either freelancers or part-time employees.
Steady pay and employer-provided benefits are obviously not part of a freelancer's life, Morrill says. Other issues, which freelancers probably share with many solo practitioners, include the lack of immediate contacts down the hall with whom to compare notes about a case or document, as well as the need to procure resources like space and equipment. When matters related to freelance attorneys come before the ARDC, among the major questions tend to be whether the client has been harmed, whether there is prejudice to the client, and whether the lawyer has engaged in misconduct, Apostol says. Firms like Intermix that broker arrangements between law firms and freelancers are one way for freelancers and firms to connect. Ziliak says that brokers like Intermix and temporary agencies are among the potential sources of freelancers. Freelance attorneys have cold-called or e-mailed Ziliak after finding him on LinkedIn or getting his name from their law school's career services office.
Aside from the work she has found through Intermix, Morrill says she has used her network of attorney friends, including former law school classmates.

If you're a freelance attorney or considering becoming one, the ISBA has a host of resources and member benefits to help you in your practice.
One of the most daunting aspects of freelance work is being on your own with no colleagues down the hall to pose questions to or exchange ideas with. But E-Clips isn't the only way that the ISBA can help freelancers stay up-to-date on substantive legal developments. Learn more about how to use freelance attorneys - or become one - by attending ISBA's live Law Ed program in Chicago or viewing the live webcast on April 9. Overflow Counsel exists to connect busy law firms and corporate legal departments with freelance attorneys and JDs who can help manage their overflow. Fabian is working toward expanding his network of freelance attorneys and establishing relationships with law firms and corporate legal departments. Critics of the freelance model point out that contract workers don’t enjoy the same job security, benefits, and stability as full-time employees. And the lawyers they hire are trading the benefits - and 60-hour work weeks - of full-time employment for the freedom and flexibility of freelancing. So she reached out to attorneys she knew who had left BigLaw to become stay-at-home mothers but wanted to keep one foot in the legal business.
And in October she was handling her first assignment for Intermix, an arbitrator matter for another attorney who's not a litigator. The company started by contacting various furniture factories and offering to pay to use their equipment for whatever time the factories sat idle. For example, real estate closings can easily be done as piece-work and scheduled around other obligations like child care. For example, freelancers often don't rent their own office space or procure their own malpractice insurance.
Peter Apostol, senior litigation counsel at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), says the first ethical consideration when outsourcing is whether the attorney has the client's permission to do so.

While attorneys do not need to get client permission to share confidential information with another lawyer in their firm, the rules are fuzzier when it comes to whether a contract attorney is considered a member of the firm, Apostol says.
Freelancers don't have to deal with the marketing and billing aspects, Kanani says, while firms benefit from the vetting and background checks that they perform on potential contractors. While free CLE helps to make the economics of freelancing work, it also gives freelance attorneys greater flexibility in meeting their MCLE requirements. Members can choose to join an ISBA section for only $25 per year and get access to the section's discussion group (where members often post substantive law updates) and receive its newsletter, which includes timely, substantive law articles written by expert practitioners. Discover how experienced freelance attorneys can help you and your practice during times of a high-volume workflow with this informative half-day seminar. They want to be able to pay for help when they need it without having to find something for attorneys to do when demand is lower. Her writing has appeared in The Week, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.
The ISBA maintains seven, topic-specific discussion groups open to all members, and 31 additional groups for members of its substantive law sections.
Its databases also include statutes, regulations, constitutions, and court rules for Illinois, all other states, and the federal government.
And don't forget that all ISBA members receive their monthly issue of the Illinois Bar Journal. Fastcase even has mobile apps available for smartphones and tablets that sync to your free account and allow you to research anywhere with an Internet connection.

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