How do I make money as a self-employed solicitor? 

Eliot Hibbert, CEO & Founder
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

How do I make money as a self-employed solicitor? 

“How do I make the numbers add up?” This is one of the practical questions we get asked by solicitors considering a change of career to become consultants.  

Consultancy is now a real alternative for solicitors looking to do private practice differently, with greater flexibility and far more freedom.  

Many solicitors are reluctant to take a leap into the unknown world of self-employment because they have financial responsibilities and they are understandably nervous about not being able to make the money they need.  

A greater choice than ever  

Since Nexa was launched five years ago the options for solicitors looking to become self-employed has grown substantially. There is now a large array of different types of consultancy platforms and firms and this proliferation of choice is great for everyone.  

However, we know choice can feel a bit daunting, so here is our guide to working out what is the right option for you. 

Ask the right questions  

  • Before you decide to work as a self-employed solicitor, the first thing you must do is be honest with yourself about your financial requirements: how much do you need to earn? How much would you like to earn? How long can you give yourself to reach an acceptable income level? 
  • Then consider: do I want to generate my own legal work from my own clients? Do I want to be fed work by a firm, platform, individual or other referral source? Could I realistically expect to do a mixture? 
  • Once you have worked out how you want to work, consider the relevant option(s) and how you will earn fees. For example, if you want to be fed, what type of clients do you want to work with and roughly how many hours do you want to work? 
  • A freelance or contract lawyer can expect to earn anything between £30 and £200 per hour or £200 and £900 per day. Of course it depends on your area, expertise and location but for City work on the high end of the income scale you are looking at signing up to providers like Axiom or LoD or PeerPoint. If you want to work with individuals or smaller businesses in the mid-market space there are firms like Locums, Flex Legal and NexaConnex. 

Working for yourself 

If freelancing, locum or contract work isn’t for you then you may be thinking about running your own legal business – alone or with a team – supported by a platform which takes care of all the back-office tasks, like Nexa. 

As a consultant at Nexa you will be generating your own fees from your own clients (earning a minimum of 75% of your billing from day 1), but there are also other ways you can generate additional income. For example: 

  • receiving referrals from Nexa and other Nexa solicitors 
  • making referrals to other Nexa solicitors 
  • introducing other solicitors who meet the criteria to Nexa 
  • working with other Nexa solicitors and supporting them on their matters 
  • referring law firm clients to NexaConnex 
  • receiving top up payments from Nexa (if you go above a certain level of billing we pay you a “top up” on the work you have billed on your own matters). 

See what your future could look like 

For a simple example of how the figures stack up, see our recent blog: What’s the catch? There isn’t one – our consultants really can cash in! 

Take a look at our income calculator to see what your future could look like – it’s quick and easy to use. 

Have more questions? 

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about life as a consultant lawyer and what we can offer you at Nexa , check out our careers pages here or, have a look at our brochure. For a confidential, no obligation chat, contact David Roth. 

Nigel Clark, CEO 

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