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5 Tips for Earning Extra Money as a Solo Lawyer

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

While everyone wants to make more money for the work that they do, there are times when you might need to make extra money, which is a little bit different.

Unlike small firm attorneys who can only really make more money by generating business, raising their hourly rates, working more hours, or setting up ethical referral fee arrangements, solo attorneys are uniquely positioned to make extra money outside of the legal field.

Here are five tips on how to earn those extra dollars.

1. Cut Your Costs

Maintaining a brick and mortar practice as a solo practitioner is typically more expensive than the shared cost for individual partners, or even a small firm, per attorney. Taking a hard look at your resources and expenses to see what can be cut to save some money each month could significantly help.

For example, if your budget includes daily coffee and lunch outside the office, consider bringing lunch from home and buying a coffee maker. Saving a few bucks a day on these sorts of expenditures can make a significant difference over time.

2. Get a Second Job

Obviously, getting a second job can help a solo make some extra money. Fortunately, solo's don't have to worry about a boss finding out, though clients might not be too pleased if that job is a public facing service industry job that might cause you to "lose face" in front of opposing parties and counsels.

3. Writing, Teaching, and Tutoring

Writing, teaching, and tutoring are all the type of jobs that can be done on the side on a "per project," "per semester," or "per student" basis. If you enjoy the subjects you get to cover, these gigs can sometimes be almost too good to be true and might make you consider pulling down your shingle. But beware, if you're looking for extra money, these jobs are great; but, if you're relying on these jobs for your primary income, you'll likely be looking for extra money again rather soon.

4. Sell Stuff

Remember those collectibles you bought? That second or third car? Or all that stuff you don't use anymore? 

Selling your stuff is an easy way to get some extra money, just make sure you don't sell something that you need to keep making money at your day job. Basically, if you don't need it to make more money, you can sell it (though if you have a spouse, or children, you should ask before selling their stuff).

5. Rent Your Office Out

If you have a brick and mortar office, you can organize it so that there is no risk of client information being compromised and rent it out to business travelers, other local attorneys or professionals, or even to student/amateur film makers.

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