As a solo attorney, you have to get used to living on a financial roller coaster. Some months can be really good and some months you worry about meeting basic expenses.
One great way to keep things on a more even keel is to find a way to supplement your income. Here are some ways lawyers can make extra money this year.
Raise your fees
A really quick way you can earn more this year is to increase your fees. Most solos undervalue themselves and keep the same rates for years. Increase your rates for new clients and see how much more you earn. For help, check out Clio’s answer to How Much Should Lawyers Charge and these 3 Ways Lawyers Can Raise Rates Without Losing Clients, from Findlaw.
Become of counsel for another firm.
A firm may need an of counsel attorney to handle overflow cases or to consult on cases that are not in their regular practice area. Basically, you have an ongoing relationship with a particular firm.
Cover Cases Per Diem
Law firms often need someone to cover simple court appearances or adjournments when emergencies come up. Offering per diem services is a quick way to make a few extra bucks, especially when you are going to be in that court anyway.
I can easily make an extra $500 a month for spending a few minutes covering other attorneys cases when I’m in court for my own matters.
Legal Research & Writing
Some lawyers are willing to pay others to write legal briefs and motions. If this is something you are good at, it can be a great way to make extra cash.
Sell a Legal Course
Another super simple way to earn extra money is to create a course. After putting in the initial work to set it up, it’ll be passive income. For example, a small business attorney can make a course called “How To Start A Corporation In New York,” which teaches the process of starting a corporation. Teachable and Udemy are both easy to use platforms for this purpose.
Develop a Helpful App
Apps are another easy way to make passive income. For example, a divorce attorney could make a calendar app for shared parenting. You could pay a developer to create it and then sell it on Itunes and Google Play.
Publish An E-Books Online
Publish helpful e-books on a platform like Amazon Kindle or sell it on your site.
Conduct Test Prep Courses
Become a test prep teacher for a bar prep course. Contact bar prep companies directly to learn how to apply.
Teach as an Adjunct Professor
While this takes more time, energy and effort than some of the other suggestions, it can be a decent source of income and be emotionally rewarding. If you have any connection with a college, that would be a good first step. Or else you can use a job search site like Monster to see what is available and learn qualifications.
Create a Podcast
If your podcast becomes popular enough, you’ll be able to monetize it with ads and sponsorships. Like blogging, it won’t necessarily bring in cash right away, but if it’s something you enjoy doing anyway it’s possible to bring in a little extra income. BuzzSprout has a very detailed guide on how to get started.
Become A Speaker
This is another one that takes a lot of work, but once you build a reputation it can be very profitable. This will only work if you like speaking already, are good at it, and are willing to put in the work to find paid gigs. This post from The Speaker Lab is a great guide to getting started.
Write Freelance Articles
If you’re a good writer you can write freelance articles for blogs and websites for a fee. Many lawyers want to have a blog but don’t have the time or inclination to keep up with it, so there is great demand for article writers. Upwork is a great place to connect with people looking for this service.
Create CLE Courses
If you are willing to put in the time, you can make money teaching CLE courses. In NY you simply need to create a program then apply for accreditation.
Monetize Your Hobby
There are many ways to make money with things you spend time doing anyway. For example, if you like photography, you can sell your photos or shoot portraits on the weekends. Love dogs? Start a dog sitting service.
These are just a few ideas you can use to make more profit in 2017. How have you earned extra cash as a solo?