Outsourcing is essential if you want your small or solo law practice to scale over time.  The simple truth is that you don’t have time to do everything. Expecting yourself to ‘grind it out’ is not virtuous or responsible.

Deciding to outsource can lead to a lot of mixed emotions and mixed messages.  You might feel guilty that you need help or micromanage because you are unsure that your freelance attorney is up to the task.

Get in the right mindset before outsourcing legal work so you are not inadvertently sabotaging your results.

First, it’s important to recognize that you can change your behavior without having a complete mindset change. What does that mean to you?  You can start outsourcing without fully believing that everything will be perfect.  In fact, things won’t be perfect but they will be better.

I hated sushi and never understood why someone would want to eat raw fish.  I passed up every sushi restaurant until I was dating my husband.  He was a huge sushi fan.  I accompanied him to restaurants and eventually became a sushi fan because I liked him more than I disliked the idea of sushi.

You can take the same attitude towards outsourcing. Focus on what you will gain: more time, more freedom to do work that satisfies you, more productivity.

Before you know it outsourcing to freelance lawyers will become one of your favorite things to do.

Let’s look at the beliefs that may be holding you back from taking advantage of outsourcing.  Have you ever thought any of these thoughts?

  • This is legal work for my law firm. I should do it all myself so I know it’s right.
  • It will take longer for me to explain this work than do it myself.
  • I’d hate to break an ethical rule by outsourcing.
  • I can’t afford to outsource this work.

Believe me you are not alone in having these thoughts. Most lawyers believe some variation of each of these notions. However, successful lawyers adjust their mindset so they can grow their law practices.

Let’s give you some new beliefs to help you embrace outsourcing to a freelance lawyer, shall we?

This is legal work for my law firm. I should do it all myself so I know it’s right.

Freelance lawyers are trained to do this exact type of work you are requesting. They have superior knowledge and familiarity that significantly reduces the chance for error.

You will ultimately get a better work product when you use a freelance lawyer to do work that you haven’t done before or rarely do in your law practice.

It will take longer for me to explain this work than do it myself.

Delegating helps you leverage your time in the long run.  Taking the time to write out an explanation of your project provides you with two benefits. 

One, your practice becomes more organized because you have documented a process.  That document is called a standard operating procedure, or legend, as I like to say. You can share the legend of the project repeatedly each time you are outsourcing that project.  And, you save time when you do the project yourself because you are not starting from scratch and trying to remember your steps.

Second, you get a return on your time investment because you can use your newly freed time to do income-generating activities like attending networking events.

I’d hate to break an ethical rule by outsourcing.

There are so many rules and regulations about the practice of law that worrying is understandable.  Find out the rules so that you have certainty that outsourcing is acceptable to your state or city bar.

Better yet, use a tool like Law Clerk, which goes the extra mile to ensure that there are no ethical concerns.  Their technology is built so you are following your state rules on unlicensed practice of law. They do the footwork for you so you can outsource with confidence.

I can’t afford to outsource the work

As a new small business, it is admirable and responsible for you to pay close attention to the money that leaves your firm.  You may consider outsourcing to be an expense to your business.

Think of outsourcing as a ne investment like the cost of Lexis Nexis.  It is a necessary tool you need to do a good job.  Because you decide when to outsource work to a freelance lawyer and the project fees, you always have control over the budget.

Your law practice will enjoy a better bottom line (and you’ll gain more free time) when you can shift into a growth mindset and outsource more.


Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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