Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Is it possible for law to be a "side hustle"?

At this point I don't think it's feasible or desirable for m kancho06/02/17
I work 30-35hrs a week doing IT and do various other law rel lawyer206/02/17
In your IT work, are you an employee of some company or an i rubbersoul1406/02/17
Anything that involves going to court my experience just tak attorneydavid06/02/17
It depends on how flexible your FT gig is. I think and sjlawyer06/02/17
As long as your full time job is flexible enough for you to jj1006/02/17
I split my time 50/50 between real estate and being a rural palmtree1906/02/17
I do exactly that. I work full-time about 40 hours per week diligentsolo06/03/17
Thank you guys. More of you are doing this than I expected. kancho06/03/17
The most credited side hustle I've put together was being an flyer1406/03/17
how did you get this gig? did you put together a syllabus y blackholelaw06/03/17
I did a Boomeresque thing and emailed the dean, pitching my flyer1406/03/17
Others may have done differently, but I taught myself. I had diligentsolo06/03/17
What about malpractice insurance? Trust and estate work gets mrtor06/05/17
kancho (Jun 2, 2017 - 3:37 pm)

At this point I don't think it's feasible or desirable for me to practice law as an actual full time career. I am wondering though if I can focus on a specific field of law (wills and trusts comes up a lot?) and practice very part time as a side hustle for some extra dough?

Another idea is going into real estate?

Anyone do this or know people doing this?

Reply Like (0)
lawyer2 (Jun 2, 2017 - 4:23 pm)

I work 30-35hrs a week doing IT and do various other law related stuff on the side, I.e., appearances, contracts, e-commerce terms of conditions etc. You can do anything you want as long as you have sustainable income. I could never see myself working a 2100hr/year billable gig.

Reply Like (0)
rubbersoul14 (Jun 2, 2017 - 4:43 pm)

In your IT work, are you an employee of some company or an independent contractor?

Reply Like (0)
attorneydavid (Jun 2, 2017 - 3:50 pm)

Anything that involves going to court my experience just takes 100% of your time you really can't think of anything else. Wills and trust might work.

Reply Like (0)
sjlawyer (Jun 2, 2017 - 4:24 pm)

It depends on how flexible your FT gig is.

I think and have considered doing some appearances in night court. If you have a flexible FT gig, then you could more-so. However, as counsel of record for any litigation, absent an extremely flexible workplace, probably not.

For transactional stuff, I guess it's possible, again with some flexibility. You could easily do much of the basic real estate work at home, but any contact with other attorneys/professionals and the closing itself would need to occur during business hours. If you can work that out, then maybe?

Reply Like (0)
jj10 (Jun 2, 2017 - 5:22 pm)

As long as your full time job is flexible enough for you to occasionally take a phone call or meet someone at lunch then you should be good. I am assuming you will not be doing litigation or something that requires you to regularly make court appearances.

Reply Like (0)
palmtree19 (Jun 2, 2017 - 5:42 pm)

I split my time 50/50 between real estate and being a rural ADA/PD. It was a complete nightmare for the first few years, but now that I'm experienced enough to "wing" most misdemeanor/traffic trials, it works out pretty well.

Gov gig for the steady paycheck and health insurance, RE for the human interaction & uneven-but-sometimes-quite-large investment account contributions.

I can only practice law ~30 hours per week before my health, happiness, and productivity start to fall apart -- I need positive human interaction with non-lawyer good-looking people once-in-awhile. The RE side hustle gives me the chance to build a business and meet people who are not addicted to heroin. I find that building a business and staying on top of competitors is MUCH more intellectually involved and rewarding than most legal work I do.

Unfortunately, in most areas of the U.S. ADA/PD jobs are scarce and RE is a brutally competitive industry. I make it work because I live in an undesirable location where my biggest competitors (law and RE) don't know how to use smartphones. YMMV.

Reply Like (0)
diligentsolo (Jun 3, 2017 - 2:14 am)

I do exactly that. I work full-time about 40 hours per week in a nonlaw job and do transactional work as I please. I love being able to turn down the work I don't want and getting to actually spend time being thorough with what I do handle. It does feel like a lot at certain times but overall I keep it very reasonable. I do nonprofit tax exemption, small business organization, taxes, and contracts and for the most part I love it. I am like a general practioner for small organizations. I can't say I make much money from it, but it is a very welcome boost when I do get paid. I am learning from my mistakes and trying to be more strategic and do projects that make more money compared to the effort. I avoid court - if it came down to it I would refer out the case to another attorney.

Reply Like (0)
kancho (Jun 3, 2017 - 11:07 am)

Thank you guys. More of you are doing this than I expected.

How did you guys get started with your side practice? My problem isn't clients. I have income from a 9-5 so if I don't get clients, well no huge loss. But it's more acquiring enough substantive knowledge to actually be of use helping potential clients.

Reply Like (0)
flyer14 (Jun 3, 2017 - 3:08 pm)

The most credited side hustle I've put together was being an adjunct. Teach a class for an hour and a half twice a week, direct deposit all money from job #2 into my savings account, don't mess with it. As an added bonus I get CLE credit for doing it, so that saves me even more money.

Reply Like (0)
blackholelaw (Jun 3, 2017 - 5:48 pm)

how did you get this gig? did you put together a syllabus yourself and pitch to local schools, or did you apply for an open position?

Reply Like (0)
flyer14 (Jun 3, 2017 - 6:45 pm)

I did a Boomeresque thing and emailed the dean, pitching my post-law school skill set. (I'm actually a Milennial.) Said email was promptly forwarded to the right person and I was exactly the skill set they were looking for.

Reply Like (0)
diligentsolo (Jun 3, 2017 - 4:20 pm)

Others may have done differently, but I taught myself. I had a stubborn determination to do the best at what I did. If you can find someone to assist/mentor you, by all means do that. I look back at some of my work and see that yes it took me a long time to do it, but I learned so much at the same time. Also, try to narrow what you do, if you practice in too many areas of law you will probably hate it like I did. Also find/list attorneys to send referrals to for matters in areas you don't practice.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jun 5, 2017 - 9:21 am)

What about malpractice insurance? Trust and estate work gets botched all of the time and attorneys are the next logical cash cow if there are no other alternatives. Your side hustle could cost you your lifestyle if you try to fly under the radar without insurance.

I have not had to acquire my own malpractice policy yet (firm handles it), but I would be curious to find out if they offer part-time rates and how much it would eat into your bottom line. You might end up working to pay off your malpractice premiums most months.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread