Solo and Small Firm

The Practitioner Fall 2020, Volume 26, Issue 4

Law Firm Growth During an Uncertain Legal Climate, Part II: How to Ethically Use Freelance Lawyers & Referral Fees

By Laurie Rowen and Erin Giglia

Erin Giglia and Laurie Rowen are the co-owners/founders of Montage Legal Group, LLC, a freelance attorney company comprised of former prestigious law firm freelance lawyers who work on a project basis for law firms that need help with overflow and specialty areas of law.

Prior to founding Montage, Erin and Laurie both practiced litigation at Snell & Wilmer LLP in Orange County, California. Laurie and Erin have been featured in, the ABA Journal, and The Atlantic, and have received numerous honors in connection with their work with Montage. To contact Laurie and Erin with questions on freelance attorney ethics, please email

Once a solo practitioner or small firm has crossed into "too busy," law firms have several options that can offer immediate relief. In this article we will discuss hiring contract/freelance attorneys periodically, on an hourly or flat fee basis, as well as opportunities to refer matters to lawyers outside the firm, possibly in exchange for a referral fee in place of hiring a traditional associate attorney.

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