5 Tips for Freelancing as Corporate Counsel

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 29, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Maybe you've been thinking of making the switch to in-house, or you like the work but want to scale back to part-time. We have a solution: freelance as corporate counsel.

It's true this isn't a traditional path, but for someone with the right skills and expertise it could be a dream career move. After all, corporations often hire outside counsel for projects that are beyond their in-house expertise.

Since it's not a traditional career path, you might want some tips before getting started. Luckily, we have some ready for just this occasion.

  1. Don't neglect networking opportunities. If you're going to find clients for your new freelance career, you need to get out there and really look. Attend conferences, write papers, and take every opportunity to talk to potential clients. Your career depends on it.

  2. Find a competitive price range. If you're qualified enough to freelance as in-house counsel then you don't have to charge rock-bottom prices. Higher fees mean you're providing a specialty service while average ones mean you're a jack of all trades. Decide what you're offering and price accordingly.

  3. Use third party sources but don't rely on them. There are options out there, such as recruiting firms and placement agencies, if you're looking to get started. Those are great things to take advantage of, but make sure you're trying to drum up your own business too. Getting stuck relying on a third party for clients can backfire.

  4. Tailor your insurance. Branching out on your own does mean you'll have to get your own insurance coverage, but you can limit the price by deciding what you want to offer. Many policies allow you to opt out of certain risky areas of practice and as a result lower your premiums. Don't go without coverage but don't buy more than you need.

  5. Make technology work for you. It's a digital world, and you can use that to your advantage when it comes to growing your freelance connections. Build a website to bring in clients and learn how to use social media to your advantage. Then you won't have to do all the work when it comes to attracting clients.

Once you do land those clients, you'll also want to check out FindLaw's Corporate Counsel Center. Our site offers free access to cases and codes, as well as a repository of sample business contracts that can make a freelance corporate counsel's job easier.

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