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Lawyers, do you have a side job?


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easttowest
  • Lawyer

Do you mean secretly working for two employers while collecting two full-time salaries? It just seems like a terrible idea, is almost certainly contrary to your terms of employment, and could easily raise ethical issues. 

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

Not to mention the absolutely catastrophic liability issues you could face if a claim is made. LawPro almost certainly wouldn’t cover you, nor would any excess insurance your firm has. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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CleanHands
  • Lawyer

This thread is whack.

What's the next insane thing someone (some lawyer, at that) is going to suggest? Black market organ donation? Being a drug mule? Completely replacing sleep with driving for Uber Eats?

Edited by CleanHands
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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer

If I discovered an associate working at a second practice without prior disclosure (and if they had disclosed full time employment at another firm, they wouldn’t be my associate), I’d immediately end their employment and I’d make a complaint to the law society. I have to be able to screen for conflicts, and an associate’s failure to disclose potential competing obligations and loyalties, especially if they’re in a remotely similar area of practice, vitiates my ability to do so. That’s to say nothing about the duties they owe to my clients.

Obviously, this shouldn’t be relied upon as legal advice. But almost any lawyer doing this / considering doing this probably should get legal advice. 

Edited by realpseudonym
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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer
33 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

What's the next insane thing someone (some lawyer, at that) is going to suggest? Black market organ donation? Being a drug mule? Completely replacing sleep with driving for Uber Eats?

Has anyone here considered moonlighting as an assassin? I know murder is wrong, but with rising inflation rates, I can barely keep up my mortgage rates on a humble lawyer’s earnings. I’d basically have to be insane not to do it, right?

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Icarus
  • Lawyer
4 hours ago, Bob Jones said:

Has anyone tried the Overemployed trend? I know it’s risky and a fast route to get fired, but it’s seems like many people (particularly in IT) are making money hand over fist (300K+). Unless you make partner at a Bay firm, it seems like that type of coin for Canadian lawyers will be difficult to come by. 

This sent me down a Reddit rabbithole. Gutsy, I'll give it that, but sounds absolutely miserable, questionably ethical, and unsustainable. The only way I could see that working is if your remuneration was tied solely to output instead of hours, both employers were aware, and you were far more efficient than expected. 

I've seen friends in other industries achieve something close to this by getting a remote 40 hr work week done in 25-30 hours (high efficiency), and spend the rest of their time on successfully launching their own side business. But it's not quite the same, and they weren't hiding anything. 

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epeeist
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, easttowest said:

Do you mean secretly working for two employers while collecting two full-time salaries? It just seems like a terrible idea, is almost certainly contrary to your terms of employment, and could easily raise ethical issues. 

TL;DR: read only bold

I can't speak to what others may decide is legally and ethically appropriate for them in their situation and jurisdiction. In my own case (FT non-law, PT sole practitioner), my workplace was informed and consented when I started work and it's written into my (FT non-law) contract that I can practice law on my own or even for a law firm employer (as unlikely as that would be, and obviously I'd inform them!) so long as no conflicts; I discussed with the law society after reviewing the moonlighting provisions though I'm like the reverse (and for me, prefer not to operate a trust account for law practice which is permissible so long as I don't receive anything in trust, including I don't get paid funds when retained but only bill for work or expenses after performed); as a lawyer my retainer agreement and my law client intake interview inform potential clients of my FT work and we discuss potential conflicts, as unlikely as that would be.

I do recall some discussion with other lawyers, not applicable to me though an employment lawyer might care to chime in with a not-to-be-relied-upon-comment, is there a de minimis side job that doesn't require notification or permission? My unresearched don't rely on it assumption is that so long as no conflicts, volunteer work isn't a problem and no notice to legal employer need be given - if it does, do you have to notify them if you're helping out at e.g. a church/synagogue/mosque/temple event some evening or weekend because that's volunteer work, or even a more regular commitment? If a neighbour asks you to look after their cat while they're away and pays you for it, or if you walk a dog every weekend on a regular schedule for money because you're available, does that require disclosure? If you write a novel in your spare time and epublish it on Amazon, or have a hobby and sell stuff you've crafted on Etsy, do you have to tell your law firm?

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Rusty Iron Ring
  • Lawyer

I knew a guy who practiced law but also had a side gig as a private investigator.  That would be pretty rad. 

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer

In terms of whether this is legal for an employment context is probably outside of the scope of this thread (but my sense is no unless both employers have consented). 

In terms of whether it’s feasible given our requirements - tough to say. Definitely an opportunity to grow financially with a non demanding job that doesn’t require that much output, but of course risky. On the other hand, no risk no reward and unless law firms are going to start matching our pay with the US, given the rapid rise in cost or living in inflation I suspect more and more people will be diving into the OE realm to get ahead. And they’re probably not wrong. It’s just a giant risk you have to be ready for. 

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
2 hours ago, realpseudonym said:

Has anyone here considered moonlighting as an assassin? I know murder is wrong, but with rising inflation rates, I can barely keep up my mortgage rates on a humble lawyer’s earnings. I’d basically have to be insane not to do it, right?

 

11 minutes ago, Bob Jones said:

On the other hand, no risk no reward and unless law firms are going to start matching our pay with the US, given the rapid rise in cost or living in inflation I suspect more and more people will be diving into the OE realm to get ahead. 

@realpseudonymI was going to respond to you and joke that Canadian lawyers HAVE to do an odd assassination here and there since they make less than lawyers in NYC and London and have to make up the difference, but I decided I'd said my piece and that would be gratuitous.

But now I wish I had made that joke.

It never ceases to amaze me that half the members of this forum view the pay scales of literally the highest paid lawyers in the world as the benchmark to justify endless grievances about their pay.

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35 minutes ago, Bob Jones said:

In terms of whether this is legal for an employment context is probably outside of the scope of this thread (but my sense is no unless both employers have consented). 

Actually, it's outside of the scope of this forum.

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Rashabon
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, Bob Jones said:

In terms of whether this is legal for an employment context is probably outside of the scope of this thread (but my sense is no unless both employers have consented). 

In terms of whether it’s feasible given our requirements - tough to say. Definitely an opportunity to grow financially with a non demanding job that doesn’t require that much output, but of course risky. On the other hand, no risk no reward and unless law firms are going to start matching our pay with the US, given the rapid rise in cost or living in inflation I suspect more and more people will be diving into the OE realm to get ahead. And they’re probably not wrong. It’s just a giant risk you have to be ready for. 

You routinely have some absolutely dumb ass takes.

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, Rashabon said:

You routinely have some absolutely dumb ass takes.

I’m not sure what being a jerk accomplishes, other than to serve your ego which I gather seems to your MO. I recall you having similarly rude and aggressive responses on the old thread too. 
 

This is an anonymous forum where people can discuss the issues they think about in a safe manner. Being a bully and a jerk is outside of the scope of this forum. Go bully someone else. 

Edited by Bob Jones
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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
Just now, Bob Jones said:

This is an anonymous forum where people can discuss the issues they think about in a safe manner.

You're advocating for something that is blatantly irresponsible and unethical on its face, and doubling down when challenged.

I wouldn't want to participate in a forum where @Rashabon's posts in this thread were considered more problematic than yours.

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
7 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

You're advocating for something that is blatantly irresponsible and unethical on its face, and doubling down when challenged.

I wouldn't want to participate in a forum where @Rashabon's posts in this thread were considered more problematic than yours.

Just to clarify then, I am certainly not advocating for anyone to take any steps which are unlawful, or may have legal implications on their employment. 
 

Rather, my intention of discussing OE was in response to this side hustle thread, and to vocalize a growing trend which a lot of people are jumping on to maximize their income.
 

To suggest that thinking out aloud about side job ideas is somehow akin to bullying others or being a jerk I don’t think is a fair or reasonable comparison, and my comment was to call out that previous individual for being a jerk and toxic. 
 

At risk of resulting inadvertent toxicity myself or side tracking this thread, I’ll leave my comments there. I hope everyone has a meaningful rest of their day, and is able to find side hustles if they may be looking!

Edited by Bob Jones
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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer
9 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

You're advocating for something that is blatantly irresponsible and unethical on its face, and doubling down when challenged.

I wouldn't want to participate in a forum where @Rashabon's posts in this thread were considered more problematic than yours.

The frustrating thing about justifying something like overemployment for a lawyer -- and saying its "probably not wrong" as was said here is justification or advocacy, contrary to a later post -- is that there could be lots of quite obvious, specific reasons why it's terrible advice to new lawyers or students. But a lot of those reasons might relate to employment law and the rules of professional conduct. We can't provide an opinion based upon those things, because that would be legal advice. Which we don't provide here. And which we shouldn't provide or really be getting into.

So when someone posts something inadvisable and we want to push back, we are kind of stuck with dismissive sounding blanket denials. Maybe I'll refrain from using specific words or references to overall posting records, but I will add my two cents here for whatever they're worth. I don't know what being "ready for" overemployment is. But if someone has decided that they're ready to be overemployed, I am very much of the opinion that they should seek legal advice from a qualified, competent professional on any number of issues.

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Rusty Iron Ring
  • Lawyer
5 hours ago, realpseudonym said:

Has anyone here considered moonlighting as an assassin? I know murder is wrong, but with rising inflation rates, I can barely keep up my mortgage rates on a humble lawyer’s earnings. I’d basically have to be insane not to do it, right?

Rusty Law: Our Factums are killer, and so are we!

Guys, this conversation has become ridiculous. Anyone who is in a position where they would describe what they are doing as "overemployment" rather than just openly having two completely compatible jobs/businesses is probably not doing something that is compatible with the practice of law. 

 

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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer
19 minutes ago, Rusty Iron Ring said:

Rusty Law: Our Factums are killer, and so are we!

 

Realpseudonym - criminal lawyer. Nice to make your acquaintance.

GIF by Westworld HBO

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Mountebank
  • Lawyer
5 hours ago, realpseudonym said:

If I discovered an associate working at a second practice without prior disclosure (and if they had disclosed full time employment at another firm, they wouldn’t be my associate), I’d immediately end their employment and I’d make a complaint to the law society. 

Obviously, this shouldn’t be relied upon as legal advice. But almost any lawyer doing this / considering doing this probably should get legal advice. 

If I discovered an associate working at a second practice without prior disclosure, I'd publicly execute him.

Obviously, this shouldn’t be relied upon as legal advice. But almost any lawyer doing this / considering doing this probably should get legal advice.

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t3ctonics
  • Lawyer

In my experience most legal employers either outright prohibit any side legal employment or expressly require the lawyer to get permission first. 

I do know a few lawyers with some kind of side gig, but either something non-legal (e.g. running a brewery or restaurant, where they have an ownership stake and make high-level decisions but have on-site managers for the day-to-day) or something that could be viewed as just an extension of their practice (e.g. writing or editing books or professional publications, teaching university or law school courses, or for profs, doing some hands-on legal work either solo or through a firm). At my old firm any outside legal work like teaching a law school course had to be on behalf of the firm, so the firm would get paid and the lawyer would just get credit for it in receipts. So in that case it was truly just part of the same job, like another client file.

Practically speaking I think I would be able to do something part-time on the side, as I have an unusually regular schedule for a lawyer. But my employer expressly prohibits any outside legal employment, and anything non-legal I could do outside of regular business hours would be peanuts in comparison to my regular job anyways. Best case scenario I could work 50% more and make like 10% more money. Unless a publisher decides to pick up my epic fantasy series and gives me a huge advance!

 

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KOMODO
  • Lawyer
3 minutes ago, t3ctonics said:

... At my old firm any outside legal work like teaching a law school course had to be on behalf of the firm, so the firm would get paid and the lawyer would just get credit for it in receipts. So in that case it was truly just part of the same job, like another client file...

Given that it's probably not much money, that seems like a terrible deal for the lawyer unless they had a billable target that was reduced by the amount of the teaching time.

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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer

If someone wants to keep a greater share of their billables, self-employment as a lawyer seems a more logical route than a second job. Obviously that has its own challenges, and isn't always feasible. But given the rates of most lawyers versus almost every other job, an arrangement where you benefit from doing extra legal work in your existing practice is far more straightforward and profitable than trying to find a compatible second job to supplement full-time work as a lawyer. Other than fee splits or generous bonus structures, that arrangement is probably self-employment.

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Rashabon
  • Lawyer

Some firms have different compensation but at certain firms, if you sit on a public company board, the compensation is paid to the partnership and you might get some credit for it as part of your overall equity compensation package.

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MOL
  • Lawyer

My side hustle would be a bagel shop. Sesame, whole wheat, everything......I'd eat all the profits but it would be a deliriously delicious month.....

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