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Feeling swamped with extra work, but not enough to justify hiring full time assistance? Part-time employees can be a great way to spread out your workload, whether you're hiring contract attorneys, interns, or support staff.

Part-time employees, like any new hire, require that you pay close attention to the rules and regulations governing part-time work and law practices. Here's seven tips that will help you take advantage of part-time work without the legal pitfalls:

These days, pretty much any lawyer with a laptop, a cell phone, and a bar membership can start her own solo practice. There's no need for the wood-paneled offices or stacks of legal reporters. Solo practice can offer you more control and greater flexibility in your work, but it also requires that you take on the role of manager, accountant, marketer and more -- in addition to your legal responsibilities.

Lawyers thinking about opening their own practice should carefully consider their options beforehand. Here's three questions to ask before you go solo:

If you're an expert in your field, or if you're representing a noteworthy client, you should expect to get contacted by the press at some point. A reporter may want background information on tenant's rights or healthcare law, or ask for your comments on an important ruling.

Great! Getting your name out in the media as a legal expert is exactly the kind of publicity lawyers should court. If your clients are involved in high-profile litigation, speaking to the press can help you get their side of the story across.

Make sure, though, that when you speak to the press, you do it right, focusing on getting your points across clearly and avoiding any ethical entanglements. Here's some tips:

Competition for clients is fierce. Whether you're a solo practitioner or an attorney at a large firm, client retention matters. After all, you didn't put all that work into marketing, networking and outreach to see your clients poached by competitors.

The best clients are your existing clients, so hold onto them tight. Here's three tips to help you keep clients from being poached by the competition:

After wills, trusts might be one of the most commonly used estate planning tools. You can set up a trust for your children, for charity -- and for your gun? Gun trusts are growing and increasingly common way to pass firearms between generations. (Of course, gun trusts aren't for the gun in the way charitable trusts are for charity -- the firearms, or money meant to purchase firearms, make up the trust res or corpus.)

Like with many things gun-related, gun trusts can be polarizing topics for practitioners. Some criticize them as loopholes, allowing people to skirt around gun laws. To others, they're valuable planning tools, allowing firearms, sometimes valuable heirlooms, to be passed from generation to generation.

In terms of First World Problems, complaining about having too much work is almost as bad as worrying that you have too much money. But, as any lawyer knows, work is work and having too much of it can detrimentally impact your cases and practice, not to mention your personal life.

Whether you were overzealous in taking on new clients or had a supposedly straightforward matter snowball out of control, here's some ideas on how to cope with too much work.

For a solo attorney or small firm, a shared office space can provide the benefits of a larger practice, without the cost of setting up shop all on your own. A nice conference room and some shared staff can really beat working off a laptop in your kitchen.

But off course, with any benefit, there are also risks. Office sharing can also impose unique liability risks for attorneys, something any office sharer should be aware of before their shared office becomes a shared liability.

It's Friday! You've worked all day and most of the nights for the past few weeks. You've come into the office on Saturday and worked through to Sunday morning. It's time for a break. Your sanity, or your marriage, may depend on it.

So what do you do when your much needed respite is interrupted by clients? Model Professional Conduct Rule 1.4 requires that attorneys provide prompt and reasonable communication with clients, but there's plenty of room for interpretation what constitutes a prompt or reasonable response. How can you get around responding to a client for the weekend?

Most lawyers have had clients who complained when they were billed for a phone call, or who were shocked when their call wasn't answered at 11pm on a Saturday. Yes, some clients are clueless, but that's not just their fault.

We often underestimate how little our clients understand of the legal profession. Recognizing that clients don't know many of the things we take for granted is the first step to avoiding unhappy, or even just annoying, clients in the future. So, here are three things we think are obvious that our clients may not:

It's supremely frustrating when potential clients (or worse, current clients) think they know more about the law than you do. Usually it's because a friend of a friend (not a lawyer) gave them legal advice, and hey, why aren't you doing this thing for me?

You don't want to condescend, obviously. But you do want to make clear that your client isn't going to gain your years of knowledge and experience through a quick Internet search. How do you convince your client that you can't get a degree from the Google School of Law?