The legal landscape has changed drastically over the years and has allowed lawyers to take a slightly different angle in their career. The demand for lawyers is yet to falter, thanks to everchanging laws and the concerns around Brexit.
Whilst many businesses will gravitate towards hiring a legal firm or perhaps having an in-house legal team, we are seeing more experience lawyers starting to favour legal consultancy instead.
What is a legal consultant?
The position of a legal consultant is straightforward and flexible, allowing lawyers to choose the responsibilities that they take on. A consultant will still offer a similar level of support as a law firm and will have just as much expertise.
Some of the responsibilities include:
- Advising clients on legal matters
- Developing strategies for clients to follow if they wish to minimize legal risk
- Identifying opportunities or scenarios where legal action should be pursued
- Drafting and/or verifying legal documents
Legal consultants can charge on an hourly basis, or on a retainer basis for any ongoing consultancy work that they are doing. This is not only flexible for the consultant, but also for their clients.
Whilst consultancy lacks the stability of a law firm, perhaps one of the main attractions of legal consultancy is the opportunity to make more money. Legal firms will often put their staff on a static salary, which remains the same regardless of their performance or workload. In comparison, by making the move to consultancy, individual lawyers can choose how much they charge per hour or for specific tasks.
Another benefit is that as a consultant you can choose when and where you work, take on the clients that you want, and you can choose which consultancy services you offer with the option of outsourcing other tasks. This flexibility is incredibly appealing, particularly to lawyers looking for a better work-life balance.
Advantages for Clients
There are some key advantages for clients looking to hire a legal consultant rather than going with a law firm.
Firstly, the costs are usually much lower as you are only paying for the time needed to complete specific tasks that are completely necessary for a legal professional to complete. Some responsibilities may be able to be performed in house, making consultancy a bit more efficient and cost effective. When working with a consultant you are also able to negotiate more on price, hours and your requirements to find the services and deal that suits you.
Legal consultants can not only help businesses who have no existing legal team, but they can also assist in-house teams with specialist matters or on an ad-hoc basis depending on what their demands are at the time. This is really appealing to companies who don’t want to hire more staff into their current legal team and just need help with a few specific things.
Legal consultancy is becoming much more popular and we are seeing a growth in expert legal professionals setting up their own legal firms. If you are a business, you may want to consider getting in touch with a legal consultant today to see how they can help.