5 Steps to become a Freelance Lawyer in WA
Sonia Cason – Business Director WA, Dovetail Legal Solutions

With the rise of the gig economy, ‘new law’ services, and tighter legal budgets, Freelance Lawyers are in demand. Clients’ expect services to be delivered in a cost-effective and agile manner. Freelance lawyers have reaped the benefits of the changing legal market. Lawyers are increasingly starting their own legal practice to offer their time as a service provider/freelance lawyer, as opposed to an employee. With cloud-based information systems and cheap software/hardware it has never been easier to establish yourself as a Freelance Lawyer and join the growing number of lawyers enjoying its benefits.

5 Steps to become a Freelance Lawyer in WA

  1. Hold an Unrestricted Practising Certificate
  2. Complete the Practice Management Course
  3. Join the Professional Standards Scheme
  4. Take out Public Indemnity Insurance with Law Mutual
  5. Get a client
  1. Hold an Unrestricted Practicing Certificate

To gain an unrestricted principal practicing certificate you need to have completed a period of supervised legal practice – two years of continuous full-time supervision or part-time equivalent on a restricted practising certificate. And apply to the Legal Practice Board of WA to have the restriction removed.

Cost: $0

Action: Complete this Legal Practice Board of WA Form 5Form 11 and Form 1

  1. Complete the Practice Management Course

The Course takes three days, usually held over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and is held by the College of Law;

Has three assessments throughout the course, either during your three-day workshop or online after the workshops concludes.

The course tends to book out quickly! The number of lawyers doing the Legal Practice Management Course has doubled in the past 18 months!

NB – despite not having done the course you can give an undertaking to complete, however evidence must be given that you are enrolled.

Cost: Alumni/Members price, $1,980, full price: $2,200

Action: See the details and book the course here.

  1. Join the Professional Standards Scheme – offers a statutory limitation of liability

On 1 July 2014 Professional Standards Scheme was established and creates a liability cap on damages that can be recovered by a plaintiff in a professional negligence action taken against a Participating Member of the scheme. If the Participating Member pleads the existence of the liability cap and, if established, damages cannot be ordered above the cap.

Cost: $50

Action: Go to the Law Society of WA website and complete the New Member Form

  1. Take out Public Indemnity Insurance with Law Mutual – Always been told PI was expensive? Well it’s not!

PI Insurance in WA is through Law Mutual

Cost: It roughly equates to 5% of your fees billed in a calendar year, exclusive of GST and disbursements, capped at $4,959+GST. That’s right… if you don’t earn the fees you don’t pay the PI! Simply include the 5% in your charge rate and it’s covered!

Action: Click here to go to the Law Mutual website to see the schedule of costs and apply for PI Insurance

  1. Clients

Without clients you don’t have a business and that’s where Dovetail can help – we connect Freelance Lawyers with our clients. You retain control over all aspects of your business including your rates, that you set directly with the clients. Think of us as your outsourced business development team.

Cost: No upfront costs and with a completely transparent cost structure means the client and lawyer all get to see who gets what

Action: Contact us to find out more, how we have helped Freelance Lawyers source work for them and how we may be able to assist you.

We connect our clients with the best freelance lawyers in a transparent and flexible manner. Our clients perform faster, more commercially and with less risk, while freelance lawyers benefit from access to top legal work.

Sonia Cason is the Business Director WA of Dovetail Legal Solutions and is always open to a confidential discussion over a chai latte.

0423 302 327

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