FAQs for Freelance Attorneys
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LAWCLERK was built by attorneys that understand that the practice of law is changing and that there are many skilled lawyers looking to put their experience to work outside of the traditional law firm model.
LAWCLERK connects attorneys looking to freelance with our extensive network of lawyers that need help with the written work - everything from drafting pleadings to completing complex discovery.
LAWCLERK gives you the systems and tools you need to be a successful freelance lawyer. We handle the vetting of the hiring attorneys, tax reporting, and payment, so you never have to worry about getting paid for your services. LAWCLERK additionally provides a two-tier conflicts check process, a secure and encrypted chat and document library to allow you to safely and securely share documents, and has a teams feature to allow you to work with your favorite attorneys on repeat.
There are no minimum hours or projects. Instead, with LAWCLERK you have total control over your workload, the number of projects you take, the attorneys you work with, and the type of projects you work on.
Hear what our freelance attorneys have to say about LAWCLERK:
The traditional legal career is leaving many dissatisfied with its long hours and limited opportunities. LAWCLERK provides you the personal freedom to work when and where you want, on the projects you chose. Whether you are trying to earn more, spend more time with your family, or chart your own freelance career, LAWCLERK will get you there.
With LAWCLERK, you can:
Great news! There are no monthly, annual, or other reoccurring fees!
The price you see on a project is the price you will get paid upon completion.
We use a third-party payment processing company called Braintree Payments, which is a subsidiary of PayPal, for all payment transactions.
The first time you apply to a project or a team, you will be prompted to enter your bank account information. This is strictly to streamline payment directly into your account upon project completion. No funds are ever taken out of your account.
Please note your bank account information is securely stored by Braintree. LAWCLERK cannot view or access your bank account information.
When you accept a project, Braintree charges the posting attorney and holds their funds pending successful completion of the project. Upon completion of the project, your payment is deposited into your bank account by Braintree. This ensures you get paid for the work complete!
Only attorneys may use LAWCLERK. We use the term "Hiring Attorney" to refer to the attorney that is posting the work and we use the term "Lawclerk" to refer to the attorney that is completing the work. The reason we use the term "Lawclerk" is because the freelance attorneys are providing their services in a paraprofessional capacity, subject to the following rules, which allows them to provide services to attorneys outside of their state without violating the prohibition on the unauthorized practice of law.
These rules are the secret sauce that allows LAWCLERK to be 50-state ethically compliant:
1. The Hiring Attorney shall have sole professional responsibility for the work product of the Lawclerk.
2. The Hiring Attorney will supervise the Lawclerk’s performance of services on the assigned project to ensure compliance with the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct.
3. The Hiring Attorney will establish and maintain the relationship with his or her client.
4. The Lawclerk shall have no contact with the Hiring Attorney’s client, including without limitation no email, telephone, skype, web, social media, or in-person contact.
5. The Lawclerk shall not appear in court or any other judicial or administrative body on behalf of the Hiring Attorney’s client.
6. The Lawclerk shall not serve or otherwise disseminate the their work product or any other documents to anyone other than the Hiring Attorney that posted the Project.
7. The Lawclerk shall not sign or file any documents with any court or administrative body in connection with a project.
8. The Lawclerk shall have no contact with opposing counsel, witnesses, or other persons potentially involved in the project for which the Lawclerk has been engaged, including without limitation no email, telephone, skype, web, social media, or in-person contact.
9. The Hiring Attorney shall have sole responsibility for determining the fee charged to his or her client for legal services. The Lawclerk shall not have any involvement in determining the fee charged to the Attorney’s client for the Lawclerk’s services.
LAWCLERK handles all tax reporting by issuing IRS Form 1099s on or before January 31 of each year to all Lawclerks that have complete projects in the preceding calendar year. Form 1099s are sent both via email and USPS. We recommend keeping your physical address up to date and we endeavor to send out reminder emails to update your address before the Form 1099s are sent out.
Please note that in accordance with IRS regulations, you will only receive a Form 1099 if you receive $600 or more in payments through LAWCLERK in the preceding calendar year.
Of course! You're more than welcome to sign-up as both a hiring attorney and a Lawclerk.
LAWCLERK was designed by attorneys who understand the ebbs and flows of private practice. Sign-up as a posting attorney when you need an extra set of hands and as a Lawclerk when you need a little extra income.
You are remarkably talented and have experience that other attorneys are searching for. Putting your awesomeness on full display can make all the difference in how often you are selected for projects. Here are some tips to help you stand out from the crowd:
1. Include a profile photo! Everyone likes to know who they are working with and attorneys posting projects on LAWCLERK are no exception.
2. Include a bio. Besides the profile photo, the bio is the first thing attorneys see when they're deciding whom to select, so it is your first opportunity to highlight you unique experience and skill to really set yourself apart from other applicants. Don't waste this opportunity!
3. Provide a detailed resume. More detail and specificity is a great thing! Don't just provide the name of the firms or companies you have worked for or general descriptions of the work you have done, dive into the nitty gritty details. Remember, the posting attorneys are reviewing your resume to decide if you are right for their specific project, so you want them to know the breadth of your experience. Make sure to upload a PDF so the document loads up quicker and smoother.
* While stating that you worked at an immigration firm for 3+ years is helpful, identifying the types of cases you worked on, the types of visas you have handled, the types of documents you drafted, and the administrative bodies and courts you have appeared before can be a differentiating factor that elevates you past other applicants.
* Do you have appellate experience? If so, highlight your experience, including the courts where the appeals were filed.
* Do you have non-legal work experience that makes you unique? Were you a banker, a doctor, a nurse, etc. If so, highlight this experience as it can be invaluable in certain practice areas.
4. Include a note with your application. When you apply to a project, you will have the ability to leave a note up to 240 characters. We highly recommend you do so. Every project and team is unique. While your bio is the first thing hiring attorneys see when viewing your profile, notes are the first thing attorneys see when reviewing their list of applicants. It is your time to show why you are perfect for that specific project.
5. Knock your first project out of the park! At the conclusion of each project, both parties are asked to rate the other. Lawclerks are rated as follows: "exceeded expectations," "met expectations," and "did not meet expectations." When reviewing applicants, many posting attorneys put a lot of weight on reviews. As such, it is important to get great reviews! Upon receiving a couple "exceeded expectations" ratings, your selection for projects will snowball.
You currently receive a digest email once an hour identifying projects and teams that may interest you, with other notifications coming at different intervals. To change the frequency with which you are notified about teams or projects (or modify the frequency of other notifications):
1. From your dashboard, open the side-menu located on the top-left and click on "Manage Notifications."
2. From here, you change the frequency of notifications from: (i) Instantly, (ii) Digest, every hour, (iii) Digest, every 8 hours, or (iv) Digest, once a day.
3. Click "Save," once you've set your preferred notifications.
If you would no longer like to receive email notifications:
1. From your dashboard, open the side-menu located on the top-left and click on "Edit Profile."
2. On the Edit Profile page, you will find two checkboxes on the bottom of the page for email and text notifications when a new project is posted. Simply uncheck both boxes and click "save" at the bottom of the page.
All transactions on LAWCLERK are processed by Braintree Payments, who is owned and operated by PayPal. Braintree Payments also securely stores all payment and bank account information.
As part of its security and compliance with federal law, Braintree Payments requires every Lawclerk to go through a handful of "Know Your Customer" checks (KYC, OFAC, and MATCH) because Braintree Payments will be releasing funds to them upon the successful completion of projects. This is a fairly common and best practice used by online payment processors in order to guarantee the identity of the users on their platform. Because of this process, Braintree Payments sometimes asks Lawclerks to submit one or more additional forms of identification before being approved.
In particular, in the U.S., the Patriot Act (this Act came into effect after 9/11 with the goal of reducing fraud and money-laundering) prohibits Braintree Payments from sending funds to individuals without providing documentation that they are sending money to the correct individual. If you are logged out after entering your payment information, one of these three checks previously listed was likely flagged.
While we appreciate that this can be frustrating, we hope you understand that Braintree Payments is ensuring its compliance with federal law and taking the steps necessary to ensure that all transactions are legitimate and legal.
Our LAWCLERK Care Team will be reaching out to you to seek the additional information needed by Braintree Payments in order to activate your account.
Once approved by Braintree Payments, our LAWCLERK Care Team can go ahead and approve your registration again on our platform.
Once your account has been approved, you can search and apply for projects that interest you. Below is an example of what a project will look like on the marketplace:
Key elements to look at when applying:
The period in which you can apply.
Project is due on the listed date.
Initial Draft Deadline:
Deadline of when initial draft must be submitted.
The net amount you will receive upon completion of project.
When considering whether to apply for a project, it is important to closely review all of the details and make sure it is something you want to, and can do, by the deadlines and for the project price. Please note that all projects are on a flat-fee basis. Thus, the project price is the compensation you will receive when the work is completed.
When you apply for a project, you are able to leave a brief statement indicating why you should be selected for the project. We encourage you to take advantage of this option as it can be the deciding factor in being selected for the project.
When you apply for a project (and only when you apply), the Hiring Attorney will be able to review your profile, which includes your bio, resume, writing sample, and reviews on past projects. This is the information that the Hiring Attorney will use (together with the optional project specific statement mentioned above) to determine which applicant to select for the project.
There are no limits on how many projects you can apply for nor a minimum number. You can pick-up one project a year or one per day. With LAWCLERK, you have complete control!
Once you've completed your first project, the next question we usually get is: "How do I get paid?"
Before you trigger payment, please make sure revisions are not needed and the posting attorney has given you a thumbs up on the work.
In order to trigger the payment process, you will need to do the following:
1. Go into the project you've completed and go to upload your document. You can find the upload option by clicking on the "Documents" tab located to the left of the chat-box, next to "Latest Activity."
2. From there, you will get the upload a document pop-up window and you will select “Final Submission of Project” from the dropdown box and fill out the description of what you're uploading. You will then upload your final document on the next screen.
3. If you have not already done so, you will then be prompted to fill out your time card. Once you do, please click "Upload."
Once you upload your final submission and time card, the posting attorney will have an initial period of 96 hours to review the submission and either request changes or approve it. Note that this 96-hour period can be extended one time for an additional 96 hours. As it takes our payment processor 1-2 days to complete the payment process, you can expect to receive payment in your account within 8 days of when you submit your final project.
Once you have an active account with LAWCLERK, you have the ability to apply for both projects and teams. You may be asking yourself -- What's the difference? Here's the short answer:
Attorneys post discrete projects that they need completed by a Lawclerk. After reviewing the projects details, including the price and deadline, you can apply to the project. If you are selected by the posting attorney, you are then provided with a conflicts check process and if you do not have conflicts, you can complete the work. Once the project is completed, you are paid, the project concludes, and your responsibilities come to a close.
Instead of posting projects to the LAWCLERK marketplace, some attorneys seek to build teams of Lawclerks that they will then work with on a repeat basis. This is done in two ways. If you apply for a project or work with a posting attorney, they can add you to their team. Additionally, posting attorneys can post a team application describing the qualities they are looking for in their team members and the type of work they are looking to have completed.
Just like projects, you can apply to be on any team that meets your interests. The principal difference is that you're not agreeing to do a specific job, rather, you are just indicating that you are interested in being a member of the posting attorney's team. Once the posting attorney has built their team(s), they can then invite their team members to do discrete projects (instead of posting them to the marketplace). We recommend that you apply to be on the teams that meet your experience and interests as more than 40% of the projects on LAWCLERK go to team members.
You will be notified when you are added to a team. You do not need to take any further action at that point. As a team member, when you are invited by the posting attorney to complete a project, you will receive an email and upon logging in, you will also be greeted with a pop-up notifying you of the invitation. From there, you can chat with the posting attorney prior to accepting the invitation. If you have any questions about the project, are unsure about the price, or have any general questions, you're more than welcome to discuss those questions before accepting (see below). If you are unavailable or aren't interested in the project, you can simply decline and you also have the ability to leave a courtesy note (see below).
When you knock your first project out of the park, the invitations will begin to snowball!
While unusual, there are situations where disputes arise regarding projects. To initiate a dispute, click the button below. Note that if you are not logged-in to your LAWCLERK account, you will need to log-in before you can initiate the dispute.
Our proprietary technology was developed to protect client confidentiality, comply with all 50 state's ethical rules, and protect your privacy.
LAWCLERK uses Amazon Web Services Server Side Encryption for the encryption of files and communications transmitted over our platform. We use Amazon web service because of their unparalleled cutting edge technology, which is the home of the data of international banks, stock markets, hospitals, and universities. The encryption protocol uses AES-256 encryption, which is categorized by the National Security Agency as Suite B Cryptography, which is more fully described at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_Suite_B_Cryptography. All communications within each project's communication hub are encrypted when the data is at rest (database encryption).
Our marketplace is so secure that the site administrators and developers can’t even see the confidential information shared between posting attorneys and Lawclerks.
We built our proprietary technology to comply with each state’s ethical rules.
Here’s how it works:
1. After a posting attorney posts a project, they are required to complete a conflicts checklist.
2. When the Lawclerk is selected, they then review the conflicts checklist and confirm that they do not have any conflicts.
3. The Lawclerk is also provided with the conflict rules for each state in which the posting attorney is barred and affirms their compliance with the conflict rules.
4. Through this process, we require an additional layer of contractual obligation to provide even more protection than is provided for under the Model Rules.
5. In addition to contractual compliance with the ethical rules, each Lawclerk must also sign a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement for each project.
6. We take conflicts so seriously that the our technology blocks a Lawclerk from working for a formerly opposing party on our site even if it were permitted to do so under the ethical rules.
Our marketplace is so secure that the site administrators and developers can’t even see the confidential information shared between posting attorneys and Lawclerks.
WELCOME TO LAWCLERK!
We are so pleased you have joined!
Please take a few minutes to watch our introductory video below.