Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Winter 2020, Volume 26, Issue 1

In the Wake of Dynamex, AB5 Cleared the Path for Freelance Lawyers

By Kristin Tyler

Kristin Tyler is Co-Founder of LAWCLERK (www.lawclerk. legal), where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers. She is also a trusts and estates lawyer, busy mom and firm believer that the practice of law can be rewarding despite its daily demands.

The gig economy is changing the way millions of people are living and working. Companies such as UberEATS, Airbnb, Fiverr, Lyft, and countless others have become an integral part of our daily lives and how we receive services like travel, housing, and, food, but also, how we manage our legal practice.

The legal community has been embracing the gig economy for decades before the phrase "gig economy" was coined and became so prevalent. Busy attorneys have turned to so-called "contract attorneys" for many years to get briefs written, documents reviewed, and issues fully researched. The more modern term for these "contract attorneys" is "freelance lawyers" but whatever you want to call them their role is clear: to provide needed support to busy attorneys to get legal work completed in an efficient manner without costly overhead of an associate on payroll. However, in light of Dynamex Operations W v. Superior Court1 many California attorneys have reevaluated whether they can hire these freelance lawyers without legal consequence.

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