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Argument: Alternative law schedules less time consuming, more flexible

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Hindi Greenberg. "So What Else Can You Do with Your Law Degree?" GPSolo magazine. July/August 2005: "In lieu of changing jobs, some practitioners are staying put in their practice areas but are seeking alternative work schedules to allow time for cultivating interests both in and outside of law. As this phenomenon grows, the demand to accommodate part-time lawyering and alternative work arrangements will escalate. This bodes well for those who desire quality time in and out of the law office.

For those seeking to use their legal background in a less intensive, all-consuming style, the part-time and contract practice of law have become hot topics both for individual lawyers and for law firms. With the downsizing of some firms and influx of work in others, there is a growing demand for both contract lawyers, who work on a temporary, hourly basis, and part-time lawyers, who work as permanent employees on a reduced work schedule.

Lawyers also are exploring alter-native work arrangements such as telecommuting (where the lawyer works with a phone and computer from a location other than the law office, hooked up to the office by modem and fax) and job sharing (where two lawyers each work a reduced schedule, either sharing cases or maintaining their own caseload, and share office space and support staff). In a job-sharing arrangement, the two attorneys often prorate benefits so that the firm is paying only benefits, such as health insurance, vacation, and sick leave, as if for one full-time lawyer.

Slowly, firms are revamping their attitudes and policies about less-than-full-time lawyers. No longer are these lawyers thought to be less worthy. In fact a good part-time or contract lawyer often is envied for the ability to organize and handle complicated legal matters in a short time frame, thereby creating the benefit of financial economy for the firm. Contract lawyers often market them- selves to a potential hiring firm on their ability to pick up a file, review only the important information, handle the matter efficiently, and produce a finished product for the firm, all without the need to pay for anything except the time the contract lawyer spent on the specified project."

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