We have only scratched the surface of what side gigs you could be doing while studying to be a lawyer.
Law schools are expensive, and having too much money as a law student is not a problem that many law students face. In fact, the amount of student debt you accumulate as you are studying to become a lawyer can reach exorbitant proportions – the 2021 average is $160,000 per law school graduate – and may take many years to pay off.
Therefore, many students turn to side gigs to ease off this financial burden. Depending on the number of side hustles you have got going on, and how much they pay, working on the side can drastically improve your financial situation.
To that end, we have prepared a list of 8 side hustles for you to start. Each of them furthers your goal to become a top attorney, aligns with your work as a student, and lets you control the hours you work.
- Start a Law Podcast
This may not give you quick money, but it’ll bring you the connections, the confidence, and the shared knowledge that you need to become a successful lawyer.
Starting a podcast is easy. All you need to do is your phone to record the podcast, an open-source editing software program to edit the content, and a free Spotify account.
The difficult bit is to attract the audience but that’s where your law student status comes in handy. You are familiar with the law while the general public is not. So, use your knowledge of the legal system and tell people about interesting cases and important sections of the law, opine about ongoing famous cases, share your life as a law student and tell others what to expect, and demystify the world of justice for the common public.
Your podcasts may start more general but with time, you will find your niche and your target audience. Then you can dig deep, have more high-stakes conversations, and even invite guests to your podcasts. The more people follow you and mention you in their circles, the more sponsors you’ll start attracting. The sponsors will give you money to mention their names in your podcasts and that’s how you will generate the income.
To promote your podcast, use social media and create online profiles that may be separate from your regular ones. To make things even more professional, design a logo for your podcast. Might we suggest a design shortcut? Use a free logo-making service to design a law firm logo. Every service offers tons of those. Then use their customization tool to add a radio icon or a mic icon to make it into a podcast logo.
Then just keep recording the podcast, keep sharing it, and keep growing.
- Sign Up as a Virtual Law Assistant
Create your account on all the major freelancing websites – Upwork, Fiverr, and LawClerk, etc. – and start offering your services as a virtual law assistant. Clients can hire you for all sorts of law-related work that you can do from afar. This may include research, transcription, proofreading, and even taking calls.
The job of a virtual assistant is to take care of the administrative tasks, and not all of these tasks may add to your knowledge as a law student. So, keep this gig as a money-making avenue for the most part. The administrative duties can help you get acclimatized to the life of a law office, and the experience will come in useful when you start practicing or open up your own office.
- Become a Law Tutor
If you are excelling as a law student, put it to money-making use. This side-hustle is one of the few in this list that best combines your passion for becoming a successful lawyer and the need to pay the bills. By teaching less able or new students, you can increase not only your proficiency in the subject you are teaching but you’ll earn good money doing it.
At the start, you can focus on only a handful of students. If you are any good, those students will become your word-of-mouth marketing campaign and may bring more students to your door. You can offer group learning, one-on-one coaching, or even crash courses that help prepare for certain tests, exams, or assignments.
Your teaching job can be in-person, online, or a hybrid situation. Just choose what works for you, control your hours, and charge what you are worth.
- Prepare Test Prep Courses
This is also related to teaching but is more focused. Some students are naturally good at preparing for tests while others suffer from extreme test anxiety. If you belong to the former group, you can offer test prep courses to lessen the anxiety of the latter.
In my college days, there were a couple of students who were famous for their test notes. Those notes would sell for serious money and will always prove helpful when the day of the test arrived. Preparing for tests was their niche, and they turned it into a profitable venture.
If you are also good at preparing for tests and for making winning notes, start offering test coaching or selling test prep courses. Law college tests are extremely stressful and the heroes who do not wear capes are the ones that help us prepare for them.
- Proofread and Edit Other Student’s Work
Proofreading is the last step of the editing process. If you have good grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills, you can become a legal proofreader. Your job will be to review other students’ work and make sure it is free of any errors.
Becoming a proofreader also means that you need to have a sharp eye for detail and ingrained respect for deadlines. All law school work is time-sensitive. If you are unable to turn in the work on time, you have wasted all the efforts.
Therefore, a keen eye for errors, good grammar and punctuation skills, and a healthy fear of missed deadlines will greatly increase your income as a legal proofreader.
- Get an Internship at a Law Firm
Almost every law student dreams of getting their hands on an internship at a law firm. What could be sweeter as a law student to see other lawyers in action and being in the thick of things?
Working as an internee at a law firm is a work experience that will be extremely useful when you are applying for jobs after you pass the bar exam. All major law firms look for top-tier students to join their internee pools. Some of the really big names in the industry even have fully-established internee programs that attract the best minds from law schools every year.
As great as landing at such an opportunity sounds, make no mistake that it is challenging and stressful work. Even if you intern at a smaller firm, the work may be demanding, and the hours long. Only jump to being an intern when you are ahead of your coursework and can manage both workloads quite efficiently.
- Become a Student Representative for Law Firms
Related to the job above, this is a side gig where you help other students get in touch with potential employers. Law firms, research companies, and legal agencies etc. routinely hire law students representatives to talk to other students and lure the best talent to their midst.
As a student representative for a research firm or something similar, you will need to market the company’s services and tools to other students so they can become members. Since law student life is so much about researching past cases, these companies rely on their student representatives to ensure that most new students will use their services in their researches than their competitors.
A knack for selling and a persuasive personality will be your greatest assets for this job.
- Offer Transcription Services
While there are experienced freelancers who do legal transcriptions well, it’s nothing compared to a law student doing the work who knows what every little detail means. There is less room for errors born of confusion or lack of professional knowledge.
As a transcription specialist, you’ll be converting audio recordings into text. Some of the common files that often need transcribing are court proceedings, witness statements, attorney notes, meeting points, and other critical documents. As you can guess, there is no room for errors and keen attention to detail is crucial.
To start your transcription jig, search for jobs online or make a profile on any freelancing sites to set up shop.
We have only scratched the surface of what side gigs you could be doing while studying to be a lawyer. We have kept our focus on recommending options to you that have something to do with the law so you can remain connected to what you learn at school. If you rather go for jobs that let you give a break from the coursework, we’ll come back soon to share unique part-time job ideas that have nothing to do with law work or a legal office.