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Tips for Hiring Temp Contract Writers and Lawyers

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on December 11, 2015 5:58 AM

It was just a scant few years ago when temp workers were thought of as legal pariahs. Now? They're becoming the norm.

This is overall good news for lawyers looking for work. According to the National Association of Law Placement, about 82 percent of law firms and legal departments currently use temp or contract lawyers. And that number is expected to grow.

Whoa! GOOD News for Lawyers!

Yes, temp workers look like they're here to stay. But corporate counsel and other legal department at least are hiring. In fact, it looks like employment for lawyers in general is on the up-tick, expected to grow at around 10% per year until 2022, according to the BLS. That's about on track with other occupations. That's good news for lawyers who have been hearing doom and gloom predictions about the profession becoming obsolete.

Tips for Hiring Your Next Temps

  • Experience: This area will seem pretty thin, as lawyers have traditionally thought of it to be a stigma to be a temp/contract worker. But there seems to be enough supply of good attorneys out there who have done temp work at some point in their careers. Look for those with lots of provision modification experience. Increasingly, you should be willing to pay for temps who also have international contract drafting experience.
  • Varied Focus: We previously have suggested that firms should consider hiring temps and contractors to cover an area of practice that your firm doesn't normally cover -- if nothing more than to expand the firm's practice area. If it turns out to be a profitable venture, then you can consider bringing that contractor on full-time.
  • Different Geographic Locations: While simultaneously considering factors like experience and competence, you should also consider whether or not the contractor is far away from you. This way, you can expand your practice not only to other practice areas, but to also areas of the region. Be mindful of crossing state lines, however. Only do this if you want to circle in federal practice areas.

Your professional colleagues will often just offer the very annoying "use common sense" when asked about hiring outside temps and contractors, but sometimes it's difficult to know where to start. Today, half a dozen legal staffing agencies are out there that provide the headhunting service to get temps to your firm. For small firms, it's probably never been a better time to tap a growing pool of legal talent.

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