Let’s be completely honest: Even if you have a law degree from a top law school or have recently begun studying for the bar exam or even passed it, you may not have your entire career mapped out — and even if you do, you know what they say about best laid plans of mice and men. You may have a general idea of what you would like to do, but like many legal professionals, you may have a strong desire to make a career change after practicing for several years.

The good news is the escape hatch from Biglaw is always nearby. If you decide the high salaries and prestige are not enough to offset the burnout of 70+ hour weeks and 4 a.m. calls from the partner who never sleeps, there exist several options for you. Up until now, the most popular one has been to go in-house. The work is on average, less taxing — at least in terms of hours — and more flexible. One option that is becoming more and more popular is to work as a contract attorney so that you can have more flexible hours and more control over your life. The beauty of contract positions are that they leave your options open. After a few years, you may decide that you want to work full-time again and start working as a Compliance Officer at a Fortune 500 company. There are also cases where we place contact attorneys permanently at Biglaw firms when they express the desire to start working full time again. While Biglaw was once thought of as inflexible — you walked a narrow ledge for eight years until you either careened off into the unknown or made partner has become more and more flexible. The safety netting of contract work, fueled by law firm’s desire to staff efficiently, is serving as both a livelihood and a way station for attorneys in transit.

A contract attorney is an attorney who works on legal cases on an as-needed or temporary basis. The contract can be for a few days, weeks or even a […]

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