Last week we discussed tips and considerations for hiring your first employee. Suppose you already cleared that hurdle and you have a team of administrative staff and paralegals. What if you're ready for the next hurdle -- adding attorneys to your team?
A good way to test the waters is by hiring a contractor. So, here are five reasons why you should consider hiring a contract attorney to grow your small practice.
1. Add to Your Current Workload
Are you turning away business because you can't handle the workload? It's time to add a few hands on deck. Hiring a contractor that can help you with your workload means one thing: more billable hours.
2. Increase the Practice Areas You Cover
Are you getting calls from existing, or potential, clients about a particular practice area that you don't cover? Consider expanding your practice areas by hiring a contractor. If your new practice area becomes a sustainable, profitable part of your practice, consider making a bigger commitment with hiring full-time employees. If it ends up being an energy sucker, at least you tested it out.
3. Expand the Geographic Scope You Cover
Are you getting calls from clients outside of your existing geographic scope? If business is slow, consider expanding it with hiring a contract attorney that can partially telecommute and service clients that are a bit further away from your office.
4. Save Your Clients Money
Presumably, your contractor will bill at a lower level than you. This is a great way to save your clients money -- just be sure that you still handle the really important stuff.
5. Lots of Talent Out There
It's unfortunate that the legal job market is flailing, but it's actually good for you: there's a massive pool of legal talent out there looking for jobs. You can get the best of the best right now to help you grow your business.
When you hire a contractor, try to find someone with experience. You'll want someone that you can manage, but you don't want to hold their hand -- especially if you're testing out the waters in a different practice area or town. While newbies are great for molding, when you want to grow fast, someone with more experience will be better qualified.
Do you have any experience with hiring contractors? Did it work for you? Let us know on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.
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