If you're a lawyer looking to make some extra money on the side, there are plenty of options available to you.
Whether you're looking at side hustles for lawyers because you want to pay off your law school debt a little sooner, or because you're looking to boost your income to meet other goals, the skills you've earned as a lawyer can help.
In this post, I'll explore some of the best side hustles for lawyers, how much money you can make, and much more. Let's get started!
- Working as a freelance attorney
- Starting an online business like a blog or podcast
- Working as an adjunct professor
- Starting a delivery side hustle like Doordash
Best Side Hustles for Lawyers
1. Work as a Freelance Attorney
Are you a lawyer looking to make extra cash? Naturally, one of the best ways to make a little extra money is to work as a freelance attorney on the side.
There are a couple of caveats if you're considering freelancing on the side.
First, you need to make sure you're allowed to work as a freelancer in your chosen specialty. A lot of law firms have some version of a non-compete which means you can't operate as a direct competitor as a freelancer.
You also need to make sure you're fully insured for the kind of work you're picking up to avoid any legal trouble.
But, as long as you've checked all the boxes, this can be a lucrative as well as a rewarding side hustle for lawyers. It's also a great way to get additional expertise, which can come in handy in your day job since plenty of cases require specific legal expertise that isn't necessarily the norm for that specialty.
UpCounsel is a good option if you're looking for an online marketplace where you can offer your legal skills outside the traditional setting of a law firm or private practice. On UpCounsel, you can choose the clients and kind of work you want to do, and they're always looking for more trained lawyers to help meet demand.
Even recent law graduates can sign up, as long as you've passed the Bar exam and are ready to work in the legal industry.
Plus, if you enjoy providing freelance legal counsel, this is one of the sides hustles some lawyers have turned into a full-time job – and many lawyers are even able to increase their income when they start working for themselves this way.
The amount of money you can make with this side hustle is lucrative. Some lawyers can make over 7-figures annually freelancing. Check out the video below for help getting started!
2. Work as a Freelance Writer
Writing might not seem like a natural extension of legal work as a side hustle, but there's a huge amount of demand for legal professionals who can write.
Specifically, legal professionals bring a better understanding of the law to things like a legal blog, legal transcription services, and other legal matters that other people cannot complete.
If you enjoy writing, working as a freelance writer can be a tremendous side hustle worth considering.
Better yet, if you're working on legal topics, you'll still be using your hard-earned skills from the legal profession.
That said, the analytical skills, critical thinking, and presentation skills you've probably developed through your legal career will also work well for topics other than just legal blogs.
Law students learn how to be detail-oriented, precise, and to make convincing arguments. All of those skills are critical for freelance writing an crafting a compelling story.
There are millions of different ways to make money as a freelance writer, and qualified and trained lawyers are prepared to take them on.
So, how much money can you make?
As a freelance writer, you can make over $.50 per word written as a lawyer. For example, a 1,000 word article could net you $500! Not bad!
You can also charge an hourly rate. There are many writers who charge over $100 an hour for their work, and they don't have the legal expertise that you do, so you can make even more.
To find work, you can use freelance sites or try to network with businesses and publishers yourself. I've found that referrals can play a huge role in attracting new clients.
By keeping your clients happy, there's a good chance they'll refer you to others!
3. Start a Podcast
Podcasting is a great side hustle for lawyers because of how easy it is to start and how much money you can make.
Of course, legal expertise is interesting for a lot of the population, so one way is to use your skills to create a podcast that focuses on the legal industry.
But a lot of the research, presentation and argumentative skills can be useful in starting a podcast side hustle focused on other topics too.
Maybe you're really interested in home improvement and want to make some extra income talking about different projects and ways to customize a home. You can do that!
That said, there's a lot of demand out there for niche legal topics, from explaining Supreme Court decisions in a way the general public can understand to talking about what lawyers actually do and how to prep for a case.
As long as you're interested in the subject, starting a podcast can be a lucrative side hustle that can make great money.
But how do podcasts make money?
There are several different options but show sponsors and affiliate marketing are often the most popular for podcasters. These are super easy ways to make money at first and you can always expand into other avenues as your podcasts grow.
Some podcasts can earn over $10k a month according to WiredClip, which is a solid income, especially if you love doing it.
Here's a great video you should check out if you want to start a podcast!
4. Grow a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel is a great way to use your skills to earn passive income and make money online with Google.
All of those skills translate to making law students and lawyers fantastic content creators, and there's a lot of demand for legal content online.
If you don't want to offer additional legal services as a way of making money during your off hours, becoming a YouTuber is another good way to earn money online.
You need to be good in front of the camera, reasonably good at writing, and have a topic you're interested in to make this side hustle work. Just like with podcasting, it doesn't need to be legal-specific, but it can be.
For example, Kevin from Epic Gardening has amassed a large following of over 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel that's all about gardening.
This proves there's a high demand for charismatic figures online, and a passionate audience for just about every topic you can think of.
Just like with other forms of content creation, you can earn a large income from a YouTube channel if you're willing to put in the work – so give it a try!
Check out the video below for help growing your YouTube channel!
5. Work as a Professor
If you're looking a side hustle that offers extra income and is still focused on legal work without taking on additional classes, becoming a professor might be for you.
A lot of colleges and universities are interested in working with practicing or retired lawyers because there is no replacement for real-life experience in the classroom.
You can offer legal insights and advice that law students can't get from reading a book or studying case law.
In addition to being a consistent source of supplemental income, law firms also appreciate lawyers with teaching experience not only because it shows mastery of legal subjects, but also because it means you have experience coaching and in leadership roles. Plus, many legal professors have time to research and become experts on obscure topics, which can make them more valuable to law firms later on.
Being a professor doesn't have to be a full-time job, it works well as a side hustle if you only take on a class or two per semester.
Most universities also offer the flexibility to take time off or go on a sabbatical as needed, so you don't need to worry about getting trapped into your side hustle if it gets to be more than you can handle with regular work as well.
In most cases, if you decide to become a professor you'll be working as an adjunct professor. You'll likely need to transition to full-time if you want to be a tenure track prof, but it's relatively easy to be an adjunct professor and a full-time lawyer at the same time.
According to ZipRecruiter, the salary for an adjunct law professor can exceed $115,000 annually making it an extremely well paying side hustles.
6. Deliver Food with Doordash
This option is good for law students and anyone looking to make more money but who doesn't want one of the side hustles that takes a lot of energy and brainpower.
Working with Doordash might not be as prestigious as working to provide legal counsel or becoming a content creator, but it's a side hustle that's great for making money and making it quickly.
Sure, you probably won't earn as much money from this gig as some of the other options on my list, but you'll start earning faster and it's a good break from your legal responsibilities.
If you're looking for a source of additional income that's fast, easy, consistent, and doesn't need you to commit to a set schedule, Doordash and other food delivery apps are a good option.
I love the ability to make your own schedule and work whenever you want. This means you won't get stuck working when you don't want to. Yes, please!
It can help pay off your law degree or transition between different points on your career path, but legal work will almost always pay better – even if you aren't hired at any of the high-end firms.
7. Deliver Groceries with Instacart
If you're looking for another side hustle that's easy and can be done in your free time, Instacart is another good option worth considering.
This is very similar to Doordash except instead of delivering food, you'll deliver groceries.
You can opt for either in-store shopping or to be a full-service shopper where you deliver the groceries as well. Which options are available depends on your location, local demand, and what kind of shopping services the local grocery stores already offer.
8. Make Money Pet Sitting
Pet sitting is something friends and family might occasionally ask you to do, but did you know there's a huge market for people who are willing to pet sit as a side hustle?
This side hustle is good to get a little extra cash in your bank account, and can be a good option if you have multiple side hustles because you'll typically only be busy for part of the day.
I love pet sitting as a side hustle because it can be done in addition to other things. I consider it one of the best passive side hustles because you can make money without really having to work for it.
To find clients, I recommend using a platform like Rover. You can earn a few hundred dollars a week in your free time, making it a great side hustle for many lawyers.
9. Start a Blog
Looking to make money online?
Starting a legal blog is an excellent side business that doesn't cost much to get started and it can become extremely profitable.
With blogging, you'll have to spend a lot of time upfront to grow your website, but it can become more passive over time.
To start a profitable blog, you'll need to find a niche or topic for your site. The most obvious choice is the legal topic, but you can start a blog about anything to start making money.
Then, you'll want to put together a plan to get traffic to your blog. I highly recommend using SEO or social media for this as these methods are the most reliable and consistent.
Once you've started getting traffic to your site, it's time to make some money.
Blogs can make money through several methods. The most common include display advertising and affiliate marketing, but there are plenty of other options you can consider.
It's possible to make $500 a day or more from your blog through these methods, but it will take a lot of upfront effort, time, and dedication.
Check out the earnings from a popular blogger on Twitter, Mike.
A niche site story…— Mike (Niche Twins) (@NicheDown) May 17, 2023
*3 years and 3 months
*355 total posts
*$1,202,635 total revenue
*95%+ profit margins
Remains one of the great business models. pic.twitter.com/EDdoxYm5XI
You can see how quickly his earnings start compounding over time. He was able to make over $20k a month from his blog, so I'm confident you can too!
Still, blogging gives you a solid combination of active and passive income if you can make it work, at very little cost to you other than time and effort.
Ready to start a blog? Check out my guide to blogging here!
10. Take Surveys
If you're looking to make a little extra money, but don't need a ton of additional income, taking online surveys might be a good option.
There are a lot of online survey sites that are basically just companies collecting a lot of consumer data to sell to their clients. This information is used to help inform product manufacturing decisions, to measure consumer brand awareness, and even to help guide major business decisions.
Unlike a lot of side hustles, this one can be done entirely in your free time, when and how you choose, and entirely on your schedule – which I love.
You aren't locked into a specific weekly schedule and you don't have to plan on a certain amount of production time to release content.
You can take surveys in as little as 10 minutes, and don't have to take them anytime you don't want to. All you need is a solid internet connection and a device that can access the survey service of your choice, it's really that simple.
Now, this side hustle isn't going to pay a ton, but I've found you can make $10 a day online with it.
Ready to give it a shot? Here are my favorite survey sites:
11. Sell Legal Courses
If you're a great attorney, good at legal writing, or just a fantastic teacher, you might want to consider selling online courses.
Like a lot of side hustles, offering online courses doesn't mean you have to be focused on legal subjects.
There are certainly a lot of law students who would be interested in subject-focused courses to help them get through school and prepare for the Bar exam. But that doesn't mean that's your only potential class option.
For instance, a lot of the skills of a great attorney are also just the skills of a great public speaker. Maybe you could put together a course on public speaking and how to overcome any anxiety before speaking. Or you could talk about the different kinds of appeals in a speech and how to use them more effectively in front of different audiences.
Or maybe you've been a lifelong painter in addition to being an attorney and want to offer classes focused on painting skills.
Selling online courses can be a great side hustle to make more money if you have the skills to put together a well-organized course.
Here's a great guide on how to get started.
12. Sell Test Prep Resources
Did you do really well on the Bar exam? Do you think you have a good sense of the most important skills and subjects for law students to pass the bar? Are you interested in writing test prep courses and other materials?
Test prep courses might not seem like a natural fit for attorneys, at least for any test other than the bar exam in different states, but there are actually a lot of skills that crossover.
For instance, becoming an attorney usually makes you more detail-oriented and organized. Those skills are potentially very useful in a test prep coach and are skills that would help a lot of students succeed at test-taking at the same time.
Another option for attorneys considering putting together a test prep course? Don't pick a specific subject, teach a course on general test-taking strategies and skills that can help students succeed no matter what kind of course they're taking.
Not only is this a huge help for students, but it can also be a good way to boost your income given how large the test prep market is.
Test prep materials tend to come at a premium, so you're likely to make reasonable money for any successful course on the subject, and your customers will be grateful for the work you put in as well.
Here's a test prep from BarMax – they charge $1,900 for their course!
13. Form LLCs for People
Forming an LLC isn't actually all that difficult in most states, but that doesn't mean most people are comfortable completing the process.
It's important to remember that, just like in legal practice, the requirements for LLCs are different from state to state. If you're working in more than one state you need to be familiar with the process and requirements in every practice area.
If you want to go one step further and help make sure you have plenty of happy clients it's also a good idea to work with other professionals needed to form an LLC so you can recommend the people your clients need instead of sending them off to find a registered agent or other contacts.
How much can you charge?
It will depend on what you offer, but companies like LegalZoom charge over $200 for most filings!
14. Work as a Virtual Assistant
Working as a virtual assistant can be a great way to make a little extra money on the side. Best of all, you don't need any special skills to get started.
You can do all kinds of different things as a virtual assistant, and you don't necessarily need to have a lot of experience in the legal profession – making it a great digital side hustle for many people.
As a virtual assistant, it's common to earn anywhere from $15 to $20 per hour or more depending on your skills.
I highly recommend checking out Carrie's Virtual Assistant Accelerator Course if you're not sure where to start.
This course will help you learn everything you need to know to get started. Check it out below!
Passive Income for Lawyers
Real Estate Investing
Real estate investing, either investing in specific real estate properties for sale or rent, or using real estate investing apps to invest a library of properties, is one way to generate passive income with very little effort or time on your part.
This kind of investing isn't like becoming a realtor or starting a rental company. You don't have to personally interact with the properties you invest in at all, and you're not going to be directly involved in rentals or selling.
Instead, this type of investing is usually used to provide seed money to purchase a home and sell it, to buy rental properties, or otherwise acquire real estate assets and then make money. A portion of the profits from those transactions is then paid to the investors, just like more traditional investment types.
With real estate markets as hot as they are right now, this is a hugely lucrative form of investing, and also usually lower risk than other investments.
However, it can take longer to see your gains, and sometimes it can be costly to get started.
By using a platform like Arrived, you can invest in rental properties with as little as $100 to get started so there's no reason not to give it a shot. Create your free account below to get started!
If you don't mind leaving your money in an investment for 6 months or longer and want to go with a safe bet investment that doesn't take a lot of active management or attention, real estate investment is a good option.
Invest in Stocks
Investing in the stock market is another great option for creating passive income.
You probably already have a retirement plan that you can invest in the market if you've worked for a law firm, but there's no reason you can't open an independent investment account as well.
Stock market investing is a tremendous long term investment strategy that's an amazing way to generate compound interest on your money. If you don't already have some investments in the stock market, I highly recommend investing in an index fund or ETF.
To get started, I recommend using a platform like Acorns to grow your money. You can invest in a variety of different stock market investments and you'll get $10 in free stocks when you open a new account. Sign up below to get started!
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Final Thoughts on the Best Side Hustles for Lawyers
There are plenty of side hustles that are perfectly suited for many lawyers.
Between selling a legal course, analyzing legal documents, and doing legal research in your free time, freelance writing, and others – there's certainly a side hustle for you.
Finding a perfect side hustle might take a few tries, so don't give up if you aren't satisfied right away. Try a few different side hustles and find what works for you!
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