I spoke with Jerome Doraisamy from Lawyers Weekly about Alifery Freelance Lawyers and how more and more lawyers are choosing to freelance.
JD. The gig economy has exploded in recent years, and across all industries. Do you think this way of working can ever be put back in the box, in the context of the legal profession?
LH. I don’t think it will ever be put back in the box in the legal profession. On the client side, we are seeing companies, law firms and in-house legal teams wanting immediate access to our freelance legal experts when the need arises.
We are in a world where there is so much information and companies are unable to stay on-top of everything and the time frame to make decisions and deliver to their clients is small, and that is where the value of freelance legal experts comes in, it is allowing clients to expand their legal knowledge quickly, without having to hire a full time employee which in return is giving them that competitive edge.
And on the freelancer side, we are seeing more and more senior lawyers choosing to freelance because of the freedom, professional satisfaction and financial rewards it offers them.
JD. Flexible working takes many forms. Can such freelance work (via Alifery) cater to the idiosyncratic needs of any legal professional, such as young parents or those who simply want something new and different?
LH. Absolutely. Lawyers are working this way because they now have the power to choose to work this way and for many different reasons.
Some reasons include:
They want to add more value to their clients by offering them top tier legal advice at excellent value pricing, as they don’t carry the overheads.
They are parents wanting to work flexibly, so they can look after their children, but still gain professional satisfaction by taking on quality legal projects when they want to.
They want to travel.
They have retired and want to share their legal knowledge and experience with the world and add value.
They have other outside passions or professional interests they are pursuing along with practising as a freelance lawyer.
These days people have so many different needs and wants and we want to be able to cater to those needs.
JD. How will Alifery breed and foster community ties for individual lawyers in various sectors/practice areas?
LH. We understand this is very important and we will develop an online community / hub where each individual lawyer can get access to other freelance lawyers within Alifery.
JD. From a wellness perspective, how can this kind of flexible working benefit the health and wellbeing needs of individuals?
LH. From the freelancer side I think the biggest benefit is that it is giving people choice and freedom.
From the client side, it is giving them access to experts, helping them to relieve the pressures of their clients demands.
JD. How is Alifery different from the competition in the legal marketplace?
LH. We are allowing clients to access expert legal knowledge fast, while using AI and machine learning to facilitate the connection between the client and our legal freelancers, and at much better value than our competition, and we are allowing our legal freelancers to access projects they would otherwise not get access to, and be paid well for it too.
JD. Does working in this fashion also cater to the needs of clients, in that tech and convenience will see matters progress more efficiently and productively?
LH. Technology and Artificial Intelligence is certainly reducing the time it takes to match and connect legal experts with the needs of a client. Clients will be able to make decisions faster because they don’t need to scroll through a never ending list of lawyers on LinkedIn or Google to then think which Lawyer actually has the expertise I need for this matter. We have done the hard work for them.
JD. What would you say to lawyers who are skeptical of such an offering/new professional environment? How would you convince them that this is the way of the future for law?
LH. This will be one way of the future for practising, and there will always be someone who is skeptical, and that is ok, it is not for everyone.
It is not our job to convince people, but to provide alternatives for those that want to work this way.
Given our position in legal recruitment, we are seeing more and more lawyers starting their own sole legal practices or wanting to do more consulting/project work, and we are supporting that with Alifery, by helping them access more work.
I think over time people become more accepting of new offerings provided there is value created.
JD. Will working in this new environment offer stability and security to lawyers? Why/why not?
LH. Anyone working as a freelancer is in effect running their own sole practice/business and in effect working for themselves, and they understand that to begin with there is not much stability and security and no guarantees of success, as the responsibility to generate income and win work is on you and no one else, but over time, once you have found your feet and built relationships the rewards follow.
Alifery is there to support those freelancers and sole practitioners by providing them with an additional stream of work.
JD. Is there a moral/societal imperative for the legal profession to undertake and get amongst such offerings like Alifery? In that the legal profession is so important to the success of our society, we all have a duty to roll with tech advancements and utilise them for everybody’s benefit?
LH. I think all professions and industries have a duty to roll with tech advancements.
Tech will continue to challenge the existence of process driven work, but it isn’t a replacement for the hardest to access resource in the world, the extremely valuable knowledge and experience that lives within a human being.
It will allow those within the legal profession to focus their energy and time on those high impact activities, enabling them to service and provide even more value to others.
If you are wanting to know about Alifery Freelance Lawyers can help with build your agile workforce get in touch with us. Find out more about Alifery Freelance Lawyers here.