While many professions now allow employees to work from home, some professions still forbid their workers from working remotely. One of these is the legal profession; can lawyers work from home?
If you’re thinking about making the switch to the legal field, you might want to give up on the idea of working from home, because many law firms require their employees to be in an office during business hours. However, some lawyers do work remotely, and they earn salaries comparable to those of lawyers who work in offices.
Yes, They Can!
You might not think lawyers would qualify for a work-from-home arrangement, but a little flexibility on your part could go a long way. Even if you can’t change your physical location, you might be able to make some tweaks to your schedule.
Many law firms operate on a billable hours policy, meaning that you get paid only for time spent working directly with clients. Because of that, it’s often possible to negotiate more flexibility in your day-to-day schedule. For example, maybe you could start later and leave earlier on certain days of the week or maybe you can take advantage of virtual meetings via Skype or Facetime to shave off some commute time each day. Flexibility is always better than an inflexible job!
Flexibility is always better than an inflexible job! What works for one lawyer may not work for another, but if you approach your boss with a more flexible schedule in mind, she’ll be less likely to say no. Once you have some wiggle room built into your routine, you can take advantage of any additional opportunities that might arise.
What Do Lawyers Need To Be Able To Work From Home?
As a practicing lawyer, I’ve found that working from home is one of my favorite things about being self-employed. Besides having more freedom to schedule my work hours, I don’t have to leave my pajamas or interact with others if I don’t want to.
When you’re running your show you can prioritize what matters most at any given time. If you do decide to work outside of your home office, make sure that your employer does not interrupt or check up on you during your off-hours.
As a lawyer, you’ll need to be able to work independently and without supervision. This means that your employer needs to trust you enough to let you come and go as you please as long as they get their work done. If you want to leave some flexibility in your schedule, pick a part-time job rather than a full-time one so that you can better plan around your family and home life.
If possible, negotiate with your employer so that if it is necessary for them to contact you during non-business hours, they can use an online messaging service such as Skype or Gchat instead of calling directly.
What Types Of Cases Can Lawyers Work On From Home?
While many fields allow remote work, some fields simply don’t work well without face-to-face interaction. Attorneys generally fall into one of three categories: solo lawyers, corporate lawyers, and government lawyers.
Corporate and government attorneys typically work in an office (solo or otherwise) and do not get to work remotely very often. Solo attorneys typically get to pick and choose which cases they take on; even when working alone, however, most solo lawyers still prefer to meet with clients in person at least once. Thus, it is unlikely that a solo attorney would ever need to consider working from home.
For corporate and government attorneys, it’s a little more complicated. Corporate lawyers often have to work on cases that involve multiple people from different departments within a company, so working from home would be detrimental to their case. Government attorneys must take cases where they are assigned—there is no choice involved.
Therefore, a lawyer working for a government agency can work remotely if permitted by their superiors. However, because of how prevalent social media is today, being in an office allows for better communication between teams and other parties involved in a case.
On a similar note, solo lawyers who primarily take on corporate cases should probably avoid working remotely. This is particularly true for attorneys who primarily do outside counsel work. If your client only has one or two employees, you would never get to meet them if they worked remotely, rendering you unable to effectively do your job. Government work generally falls under corporate law, so solo attorneys who spend most of their time working for government clients would be better off in an office environment.
Benefits Of Working From Home For Lawyers
You don’t have to worry about showing up at an office. You don’t have to worry about traffic or traveling long distances. You can save a lot of money by not having to pay for gas and electricity in a separate building. Being a lawyer is a very mental job, so when you work from home, it helps you clear your mind when you’re not working on cases because there aren’t any distractions in your home environment.
However, working from home has its disadvantages. First of all, not having coworkers to discuss ideas with and bounce ideas off of makes it harder to get work done. Working in a public office gives you a chance to interact with people and get new ideas for clients and cases. It’s harder to think outside of your comfort zone when you’re working at home. You can also miss out on social interactions with co-workers if you don’t have many opportunities to leave your house during business hours.
There are plenty of pros and cons to working as a lawyer from home. If you’re new to practicing law, you should try it out first on a part-time basis to see if it works for you and your business.
There are several considerations to take into account when deciding whether to work from home as a lawyer, including whether you have a reliable internet connection and necessary equipment. It may be worth checking your workplace’s policy regarding remote working first, as well as reaching out to colleagues and asking if they have any tips for working successfully from home. If everything is in place, being able to work from home could be incredibly beneficial—not only do you get an extra hour or two each day that can be spent on valuable legal research, but you also save money on transport costs. In addition, it may make childcare much easier – meaning more time with your family – if one parent stays at home during weekdays while still going to work.