Making the leap to become a virtual lawyer will change your life. However, adjusting to this new way of working is not without its challenges. In this article, we provide our hints and tips gathered over the years to get your new career path off to the best possible start.
At Scott-Moncrieff, we can help you to work in the way you want, get the best for your clients and ensure you have the right work-life balance. When working with us, you keep 70% of the fees you bill. To find out more, read our Guide to Working for a Virtual Law Firm.
Create a clear workspace
Setting up your new place of work can be exciting and is an important part of ensuring you can do your best work. Even if you only have space for a desk in one corner of your house, a designated workspace is vital. It will help you work more effectively and separate your work life from your home life.
Being at your desk can motivate you to be more productive as you are, in a sense, ‘at work’. This is compared to working from a laptop on the sofa, where you might be distracted by the TV or conversations with your family. Where possible, make your workspace free of distractions you would not have if you were in a traditional office. This includes ignoring household chores during your working hours.
Set a work schedule
As well as having a clear workspace, having set times you work (and times you do not work) can help get your new way of working off to the best start. Of course, you no longer need to stick to the traditional 9-5, so try to find working hours that suit you.
If you have family commitments, try having set hours early in the morning or the evening, giving you time to take care of your personal life. Once you have your schedule, try to stick to these hours. This can ensure that you get all of your work done, but also that you are not working all of the time.
Set working hours can improve your productivity, particularly if you also set goals for the hours you are working, helping you to meet deadlines and client expectations. Make sure to take regular breaks and schedule the most challenging work for the time of day you are most productive.
Get to know your new ‘colleagues’
Working alone does not have to be lonely. Here at Scott-Moncrieff, we facilitate meetings and social events for our virtual lawyers. The people you work with are a big part of your working life, so try to take advantage of this offering as early as possible. Other freelance lawyers might be able to provide advice on ways of working you are having difficulty with, or simply empathise with some of the challenges you are facing.
There is more to setting up as a freelance lawyer than meets the eye. You will need to get your own computer, laptop, printer, stationery, a good internet connection and anything else that is essential for your work. Once you have all of your hardware sorted, you should also think about setting up your national insurance contributions, pension, savings and a business bank account. We can provide advice and assistance.
Work with Scott-Moncrieff as a Freelance Lawyer