If you are exploring remote work for lawyers as a legal practitioner, you may have quite a few questions you’d like the answer to prior to getting started. These questions might concern how you’ll make money, whether you’ll have to align insurance and the support of your spouse and family, and other matters. 

We at Scott Moncrieff have years of experience helping attorneys transition from working in a traditional law firm into being their own boss as a solo practitioner in remote law practice. This is because we made the decision to work within the freedom and opportunity of remote work for lawyers long ago and have the insight you need to make an informed decision.

The following guide presents answers to many of the questions that we are often asked by attorneys who are considering the opportunity of remote work for lawyers. It also presents practical advice for any attorney considering making the shift towards solo, virtual practice. 

If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more about the opportunities available for remote work for lawyers with Scott Moncrieff, don’t hesitate to reach out today by emailing our recruitment department at recruit@scomolaw.com. 

What are the Benefits of Remote Work for Lawyers? 

According to founding partner Attorney Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, “They’re happy because they can focus on practicing the law, and their salaries are often higher than they would find in traditional firms as a result.” 

It is important to recognize the distinction that when you join a virtual firm like Scott Moncrieff, you are no longer working for a firm, but rather, you are working at a firm for yourself. The underlying differences can present a wide variety of benefits that are felt not only by you but by those closest to you as well. Our focus is on allowing our talented and hard-working attorneys the opportunity to operate their professional and personal lives as they prefer in an environment with greater control over hours and earnings. 

When you make the decision to pursue remote work for lawyers, you benefit from the following: 

  • A remote and flexible workplace, free of the demands of a commute
  • A better work/life balance
  • The ability to engage in agile, techno-centric work
  • Greater independence
  • Receiving a strong financial reward for your hard work and legal guidance 
  • Control over the progress of your law firm career
  • The time to focus on being a great lawyer without having to focus on managing a practice
  • The ability to arrange your day to suit your clients’ schedules, adding a competitive advantage 
  • More competitive pricing due to decreased overhead to attract more clients
  • Becoming a self-employed attorney without the challenges associated with starting your own practice 
  • Optimizing your level of productivity 
  • Having more time to spend with friends and family 
  • Being able to engage in more casework thanks to the reduction in overhead you’ll experience. 

“It’s particularly attractive for lawyers because of the model’s cost-saving benefits and the firm’s competitive contracts with suppliers. But many lawyers are looking to work with the benefits of remote working – some aren’t happy with their career progression, while others want greater flexibility and autonomy in their working lives.” – Lucy Scott-Moncrieff

How Do I Pay for My Virtual Law Firm? 

While we understand that the key benefits of running a remote work for lawyers firm are in relation to achieving a better work/life balance, we recognize the importance of earning a living while keeping your business running. At Scott Moncrieff, our freelance attorneys keep 70% of the billable fees they generate. For example, this means that if you generate $100,000 in billables in a given year, you will keep $70,000 rather than receive a salary of $35,000 each year at a firm. This often enables our attorneys to earn more than they were able to make while working at a traditional firm. 

You’ll also have more time to focus on generating billable fees. When working with remote work for a lawyer’s firm, there is less administration and fewer meetings, and you are better able to organize your time to maximize productivity and client contact time. 

How do I get my spouse to support my move to remote work for a lawyer’s firm?

We recognize that making a big career move like shifting into a virtual law firm requires the support of your partner or spouse. While the saying distance makes the heart grow fonder might not be applicable in your situation, it can be helpful to leave the house and go to an office to ensure that you get work done. Working from a remote law firm for lawyers comes with various benefits, but it also entails working from home, which could feel like an intrusion on your spouse’s space in some regard. 

Laying out your complete plan is helpful in gaining your partner’s support for starting a virtual legal practice. This includes explaining what your work/life balance will look like, as well as designating where and when you will be working. Highlighting the practical benefits and the financial opportunity involved will also help cultivate your spouse’s support for your freelance lawyering. It is best to be prepared to answer any concerns your spouse might have, and you are welcome to use the information and resources on our website for assistance. 

After discussing your partner’s practical concerns, it is time to discuss the benefits that working for a remote firm for lawyers will have for your life together. It is our hope that by the time you’ve finished discussing the matter and answering any questions, your spouse will share in your excitement and confidence in the decision to work with Scott Moncrieff. 

How do I determine if this is the right decision for me? 

The decision to make a move to a virtual firm is ultimately yours alone to make, and you’ll have to determine if the move is right for you. However, prior to doing so, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there room at my present firm for my career to advance? 
  • Do I feel fulfilled in my present work? 
  • Would I prefer to have greater control over my career? 
  • Do I have the motivation to be self-employed? 
  • Am I being paid well enough for the work I do at my current firm? 

Deciding to go freelance can be a difficult one, but we are always available to discuss what options are available and to explain how the process works, especially in the context of remote work for lawyers.

5 Things to Consider Prior to Your Search for Remote Work for Lawyers 

1. You Set Your Own Hours 

Transitioning into freelance legal practice means that you have the freedom to set your own hours. You are able to earn as much as you could have working full-time while having more free time to pursue your own personal interests. The freedom to set your own hours can be beneficial, but it can also result in overworking or allowing work to spread into your personal time. 

2. You are Responsible for Your Own Income

The ability to set your own schedule also means that you determine how much income you make. One of the scariest aspects of becoming a freelance attorney is the lack of benefits and guarantee of a salary. You are responsible for your own income, which means your earnings are limitless but may also vary from month to month. 

3. You’ll Work Alone for the Most Part

Working with a virtual firm means you are not obligated to attend constant meetings that interrupt your progress, but also that much of your work will be completed alone. We do offer regular unit meetings and socials, however to create a network of support for our freelance lawyers. Attorneys are also welcome to come work from our downtown Washington DC offices.

4. Discipline and Organization Support Success

The freedoms associated with freelance work are some of the greatest draws, and the risk of wasting time or being unfocused is overcome through discipline and organization. 

5. You Determine Your Career Path 

While working as an employee can mean following a very clear-cut career path, the capacity to grow and expand your career as a freelance lawyer is within your control. You worked hard to become a lawyer, so you have more control over your income potential in the realm of remote work for lawyers.

Join the Scott Moncrieff Law Firm as a Freelance Lawyer in Remote Work 

Transitioning from a full-time associate position into solo practice doesn’t have to be intimidating. Founding and operating your own firm entirely on your own can take quite a bit of time to build, then get moving, and achieving a better work/life balance may have to be put on hold. By working with an established law firm like Scott Moncrieff, you are provided with logistical support to assist in the operation of your business and are able to focus on earning immediately rather than at some indefinite point in the future. To learn how we can work together, email our recruiting department at recruit@scomolaw.com or connect on our contact page