The gig economy has become mainstream these days. Thanks to the internet, it is not just financially important, but smart and even convenient to have multiple streams of active or passive income. More importantly, legal professionals are no exception to this trend. This additional income can come from a variety of sources, commonly known as side hustles, which are jobs to complement your full-time role.
Side hustles are extensively prevalent in the US, with almost 2 out of 5, or 39% of adults, having them in 2023. A further 44% believe they will start one in the coming months. Many people in the legal profession also have and are willing to explore their chances with side hustles. At the end of the day, everyone is open to the practicality and sensibility that comes with this approach.
Being a lawyer is a stressful job on its own, which means you may not have as much spare time as you like. Still, there are options for side hustles that take up only a manageable chunk of your time. Here are some of the side hustles that you can explore while working full-time as a lawyer:
1. Teaching opportunities
Legal knowledge and skills are valuable assets even for normal individuals because basic elements of this field can come in handy even in everyday life. As a professional, do you have pieces of advice you want to impart or teach things you feel someone should have told you while you were in law school? Do you have a unique academic qualification like an advocacy or social justice degree?
If you’re interested in teaching or sharing the knowledge and experiences you possess with others in any way, you can easily turn it into a side hustle. Not only does it pay a good amount of money, but it is also not very demanding in terms of hours and preparations.
There are three different avenues you can explore:
- Tutoring: Students preparing to get into law school need help, much like with admission tests of various other institutions. As a professional lawyer, you stand a good chance of teaching these pupils what they need to be ready for and the materials to use.
- Creating academic content: In recent years, the trend of creating and selling courses has grown rapidly. Whether it is developing case studies on certain cases or giving tips about various niches of law, creating preparatory material for bar exams, to a variety of other legal training, there is a lot that you can offer through platforms like Udemy and charge for it.
- Teaching: Not only do colleges and universities hire part-time instructors, but a lot of online platforms do the same too. Explore your options and pick the teaching opportunity you feel best suits you, depending on whether you are interested in this side hustle.
2. Additional legal tasks
This one may cause conflicts with your full-time position, so before you even start to explore this side hustle, it is best to go through your contract comprehensively. That being said, looking for additional legal work is the most obvious choice if you are employed as a lawyer because you already have all the necessary skills and competencies for the practice.
Think of it as freelancing while working, but unlike other roles, you are working in your own field. Platforms like UpCounsel provide the ideal opportunities for people related to the legal profession to choose clients and projects that can support their side hustle. Legal services are required at some point by almost every individual and organization, which gives you a chance to explore amazing prospects.
3. Research and writing
Content writing and research are among the most common side hustles that people with relevant expertise can pursue. If you have a knack for research and writing, you can take up these two tasks and draft various types of documents and motions that can be used in numerous capacities by different clients.
Not only that, you can draft articles for various online legal publications, potential government actions and institutions, and case studies that can be used in various ways. There is a huge market for these skills on freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, with individuals and companies willing to spend significant amounts on these tasks.
Once again, you will need to check for conflicts with your current work so that you don’t end up in trouble afterward. You may not want to contact the HR department for clarifications as you can study your contract yourself to find out if there are any conflicts. Whether it is writing or research work, you will need to check for a contradiction in either case.
4. Curate an ebook
Another latest trend in the freelancing and side hustle ecosystem is the creation of ebooks. As it is with selling courses in various subjects, writing ebooks is a medium for individuals to pick up knowledge from seasoned professionals in a flexible and convenient manner. Your legal ebook can sell either on a subscription basis or wholesale.
Being a lawyer, you are well-versed in various aspects of the profession. If you want to create and sell an ebook, you will need to find a topic that demands discussion and clarification or provide answers to a certain set of questions that people are looking for. Once you identify this, you can start working on even a small eBook to address these concerns.
As with the field of courses, the market is competitive due to the saturation of knowledge. In order to stand out, you will have to look for a niche or a topic that is still under-explored. Having uniqueness is the only way to make money in this field. Also, if you are already teaching, you can ask your students to buy your ebook as an additional promotion.
Working as a lawyer doesn’t mean you can’t explore a side hustle for additional earnings and professional development. In fact, it is considered a sensible and logical choice nowadays because you can explore different avenues in terms of earnings and knowledge. You can easily utilize your skills, like prowess in writing and research, to start a side hustle that can eventually make you considerable money.