Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Common Questions for Hiring Lawyers

FAQs for Hiring Lawyers

Q: What is Custom Counsel?

A: Custom Counsel is a network of skilled freelance attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants.  It is a marketplace where solo practitioners, law firms, and in-house legal departments can connect with exceptional legal professionals to perform work on a contract basis.


Q.  What does it cost to use Custom Counsel's services?

A: Custom Counsel's services are free to hiring attorneys.   Hiring attorneys need only pay for the hours billed by the freelance professional -- no additional charges or fees are imposed by Custom Counsel. 


Q: Where do Custom Counsel freelancers work?

A: For the most part, the freelance legal professionals work remotely.  A project may require face-to-face meetings with the hiring attorney, court appearances, etc.  These requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis.  Having freelancers work remotely allows hiring attorneys to increase talent without increasing overhead.


Q: Can I make a profit on the amounts I pay for contract legal services?

A: According to the American Bar Association Formal Opinion 00-420, hiring attorneys are permitted to add a reasonable surcharge to clients for contract services, as long as the overall rate billed to the client is reasonable.  Because the rates of professionals in our network are often significantly lower than the rates of attorneys associated with law firms, you can add a surcharge to the contract services and still pass along a significant cost savings to your clients. Be sure to check your local bar opinions on outsourcing.


Q: If I am really busy, isn’t it just better for me to work harder and make more money?

A:  In a practice that naturally ebbs and flows, the inclination during the busy times can be to just work extra hard (or make your associates work extra hard) to soak up all the profit to get you through the light periods. There is a common misconception that outsourcing work is “giving work away.” The better way to think of it is that you are creating another profit center for your firm. You continue to bill and profit from your own time, and you are adding someone else who is billing and creating profit for you. It is a great way to foster your own work-life balance, and to avoid over-taxing and burning out your associates. In addition, if you hire an experienced attorney to handle some of your workflow, it can free you up to engage in more business development activities, increasing profits all around.