We took a call a few weeks ago from a sole practitioner specialising in employment law and some other forms of litigation. He explained that his caseload was such that although he had enough work for two or three days per week he was looking for a way of increasing his working week and his income. He wanted to know what Interim Lawyers and Ten Percent Legal Recruitment could do to help him.
I had a discussion with him around his availability for work. Quite a few smaller practices run by sole practitioners will look into ways of generating new business that usually involve considering locum work or sub-contracting to other parties. However in this particular solicitor’s case he mainly specialised in employment law. Unfortunately this has been in steep decline for well over 5 years, and there has been low potential for growth according to all the various sources of knowledge. Our own experience is that since Peninsula Law came on to the scene all those years ago, and then the government started (and stopped) charging tribunal fees, the employment law market has never been a particular buoyant or lucrative area to be in. The vast majority of employment solicitors seem to have another string to their bow – whether this is in company commercial, general civil litigation or commercial contract work.
Getting Alternative Strings to your Bow
If you are an employment solicitor with extensive non-contentious experience then moving across to commercial contracts work, whether in-house or in private practice, can be the easiest solution. This is a fairly busy area. It is of course all very well and good me saying this is the easy solution but actually getting a moving practice can be considerably harder.
How to Add Fields of Law
Nothing is better than actually doing the work and if you are a sole practitioner nothing could really be easier than simply doing the work, perhaps with the assistance of Counsel or alternative expertise if needed (and make sure your insurance covers it). We usually recommend looking into unpaid work experience as a solution to getting the necessary information on to a CV to give employers or contractors the impression that you have experience in another field as well as employment law.
Platform Law Firms
The other option we discussed with this sole practitioner was to consider looking into platform firms, which is where you undertake work coming in via one of the various online lawyer operations and seek to generate extra income for yourself by doing a number of hours each week. This is becoming an option that quite a few solicitors are looking into because it does mean you can be looking for work and working for various sources at the same time. So you can work for a platform company and get a certain number of hours, run your own business and work for your clients through that, and at the same time undertake the occasional locum assignment.
Why are you not getting more work?
But of course the other option is to look into why your practice is not generating sufficient income to keep you occupied for the whole week, and maybe this is something you need to spend your time on. One thing you could look into doing is increasing your online presence. So many websites we see for law firms are just awful. They have no information, get rarely updated and don’t even identify the solicitors working at the firms.
Business Blogging – Easy Solution for a Busy Lawyer
Click here – https://www.tptranscription.co.uk/why-blogging-is-good-for-business/ for a very good article on how to business blog and the merits of blogging, which is of significant important to solicitors and solicitors firms as people go to solicitors firms on the basis of their trust in their expertise. If there is no evidence of that expertise online then it is difficult for anyone to place their trust in a solicitor. If you have a website that only has your name and the briefest of information about your practice hasn’t been updated for 3 years, then it is unlikely you’ll see much work coming out of it.
However if you are following our advice, dictating regular articles into your phone and sending them to www.tptranscription.co.uk to be transcribed then there is a very good chance that people will be reading about you and knowing that you are recognised as an expert in your field.
If truth be told I didn’t actually get to have this discussion with the solicitor who rang me, and so I hope he has picked up on this article at some point, because I suspect that at the same time as looking into other sources of work, he may be better spending his time blogging away, adding content and quality information to his website, and getting increased work as a result.
So in summary you need to be looking at various options to increase work. Firstly take a long hard look at yourself and your current business, and think whether or not you can generate more work out of it if you put more effort into it in the first place. If you have decided that your work is never going to increase from your practice and you really need to be looking at other things, then you need to look at locum work and also consider using the platform law firms which are springing up all over the place, and may well be the future solution for sole practitioners and smaller law firms looking to increase their work.