Ethics of Hiring Freelance Attorneys

 Florida permits the use of freelance attorneys, as long as the hiring firm and freelance attorney adhere to the relevant ethical rules, including conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and competency. See Fla. Ethics Op. 88-12 (1988).

Lauren Hoff-Downing is licensed to practice law in Florida. 


In general, firms may hire a freelance lawyer who is not licensed in the hiring firm’s jurisdiction. According to the American Bar Association, “ordinarily, a lawyer may work for another lawyer in a jurisdiction in which the first lawyer is not licensed as long as the licensed lawyer remains responsible for the work and the unlicensed lawyer is not held out to be licensed.” ABA Formal Op. 08-451 (2008). 

Hiring firms should always review local ethical rules and opinions to ensure compliance with their ethical obligations.