Firms Turn to Staffing Agencies to Avoid Risk in Contract Attorney Employment

As Demand For Contract Attys Grows, Firms Outsource Risk
– Law360

Manatt’s Esra Hudson, leader of the firm’s employment and labor practice, spoke with Law360 on increasing demand for contract attorneys and the potential legal risks of hiring these attorneys.

According to Law360, a number of in-house legal departments and small firms are increasingly hiring contract attorneys to help work on demanding cases. However, the federal government’s rules regarding independent contractors are vague, sometimes contradictory and vary by state.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would give firms the option of hiring attorneys as independent contractors, either directly or through a staffing agency.

Hudson said this bill, if passed, could give law firms an easy path through state guidelines set out by Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles that determine whether a worker can legally be classified as an independent contractor rather than a W-2 employee.

“It essentially takes the question out about what impact Dynamex would have on the legal profession because it specifically exempts the legal profession,” she said.

Read the article here