Contract Attorney Jobs: 4 Reasons You Should Consider One

By Neetal Parekh on February 28, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Well, sassy esquire, you've crossed the Bar exam obstacle course in triumph. Now what?

In the current recovering economy lawyers may not find the dream offer and their dream position as easily as they hoped. But, before heading for the hills, consider the realm of contract attorney jobs available.

The contract attorney is hired for temporary or on a per-project basis.  And what it has its detractors--such as an indefinite term, meaning that you may have to keep the position search open even while you work various contract attorney jobs.  Also, since you are not permanent employee you may not receive the host of benefits from the firm (often, including health care) that your permanent associate counterparts enjoy.

But, for the negative points, there are also a ton of positives...

Reasons to Pursue Contract Attorney Jobs:

1. To Spruce Up Your Work Experience. In the game of chicken-and-egg, employers often seek candidates with a basis of experience. However, fresh law school grads often lack exactly that.  Contract attorney work can be the bridge between the job you want and the experience you currently have.  Think of it as a law school residency, and try to learn as much from your supervisors as possible.

2. To Get Paid, and Get Access to Benefits.  Depending on the assignment and skills required you could make a pretty penny on an hourly basis. And, if you choose to pursue contract attorney work through a placement agency you may have access to discounted health care rates and other benefits of being part of a broader group.

3. To Keep Pursuing Your Other Interests. Sure, you went to law school. But you really wanted to become a jujitsu master and open your own studio. Before you make a complete 180 to pursue that dream, consider working contract attorney jobs to pay the bills and law school loans, while you jujitsu in your free time of course.

4. To Make Contacts, and a Good Impression. Just like the mystique of rent-to-own anything, after you've proven your skill and value during your contract period, you may be asked to stay on. Or, you may be contacted later when the firm is hiring.  Use your contract attorney gig to get to know people in the firm and gain solid perspective on what makes the firm run.

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