Lawyers are some of the highest-paid professionals in the world, but that doesn’t mean they still couldn’t use a good side hustle.
Even with average annual salaries of about $128,000, many lawyers are overwhelmed with bills and student debt.
Law school can cost over $100,000 for tuition alone(!), and 90% of graduates borrow money to complete their degrees.
Fortunately, there are lots of side hustles for lawyers to increase their income.
In this article, I’ll share my top picks so you find the best option for you.
1. Freelance Legal Work
The side hustle with the best hourly rate for lawyers is one that still uses your law degree. Freelance legal work might involve:
- Preparing contracts
- Legal writing
- Reviewing and filing documents
- Legal research
- Trademark registration
- Compliance review
- and more
Upwork — the world’s largest freelance marketplace — has an entire section dedicated to freelance legal work.
If you have an area of specialization in mind, you might consider setting up shop on Fiverr. (That’s where I found a lawyer to help with a recent trademark filing.)
On both sites you can set your own rates. Of course, double check with your firm that freelancing won’t be a conflict of interest or contract violation.
2. Become an Adjunct Law Professor
If you have enough experience as a lawyer and love academia, consider becoming an adjunct professor.
Adjunct professors typically teach 1-2 classes per semester and earn $2,000-$7,000 per class. And with many classes shifting online, you may even be able to do this from home.
I connected with one adjunct professor who really dove headfirst into this side hustle, teaching at a dozen different institutions, mostly with pre-recorded lectures.
Even if you don’t take it to that extreme, it’s still a way to help the next generation of lawyers and make money at the same time.
3. Bar Exam and LSAT Tutoring
LSAT and bar exam tutoring is another great side hustle for lawyers. If you did well on your exams and enjoy helping others, you can earn $100 an hour or more as a tutor.
A great LSAT score can help candidates get into top law schools, and students are willing to pay for help to improve their score. Plus, tutoring is rewarding work where you can make a real impact.
4. Build a Helpful Website
One of my favorite side hustles is creating helpful content online. This could be around your area of legal expertise, or really on any other topic you’re interested in.
For example, Jon Dykstra, a lawyer in British Columbia, manages an entire portfolio of content websites that make money through advertising and affiliate partnerships.
If you specialize in an area of law, you can also create content to get leads and clients.
The downside is that blogging takes time to see results. You have to be patient enough to write lots of helpful articles, grow the site, and build backlinks.
Still, it’s a side hustle with a lot of leverage down the road — and one that can help you break free of trading time for money.
5. Freelance Legal Writing
Legal writing involves writing social media posts, articles, terms of service, contracts, and even books about legal topics. This is a great side hustle for lawyers to use their expertise and get paid.
Because it’s such a specialized niche, legal writers can earn as much as $500 per 1,000 words.
6. Answer Legal Questions Online
Sites like JustAnswer offer a flexible side hustle for lawyers, where you can earn $2,000-$7,000 per month.
Once you apply as an expert, JustAnswer connects you with people who have legal questions. You can set your own hours and the types of questions you’re best-qualified to answer.
You’ll get paid for each customer you help, but the big advantage is that JustAnswer does all the marketing for you.
7. Fractional Chief Legal Officer (CLO)
Fractional C-Suite roles are increasingly common for startups and small businesses. These are companies that aren’t quite big enough yet to have in-house counsel or a full-time Chief Legal Officer.
There’s an opportunity to help these companies on a part-time basis, working closely with the board and executive team on legal issues. To look for gigs, you could market yourself on LinkedIn or connect with startup founders in your area.
8. Law School Admissions Consulting
Grad school admissions are a competitive game, and some services charge $4,000-$6,000 to help students get into their dream schools!
For example, Dr. Shirag Shemmassian built a multi-6-figure consulting business on the side helping pre-med students with the medical school admissions process.
The side hustle involves helping students with their:
- school selections
- interview prep
- and more
Could you do the same for pre-law students?
9. Contract Review Service
One creative side hustle for lawyers is a niche contract review service. Examples could include:
- influencer marketing agreements
- purchase and sale agreements
For example, Jeff Howell created a commercial lease review service, which earned up to $7,000 a month on the side. Customers found him through his blog, which ranked well on Google for specific sections and clauses of commercial leases.
He’d write content explaining the ins and outs of those sections, and invite readers to book him for a one-time lease review.
(It looks like he’s since sold the site, but I think you could create something similar for the type of contracts you deal with most often.)
Another content creation side hustle as a lawyer is recording and monetizing a podcast.
What could you podcast about? A legal take on today’s current events could be compelling for listeners. True crime is a popular genre as well.
One of the most famous examples of a lawyer-turned-podcaster is Jordan Harbinger, who covers a wide range of topics on his popular show.
To get started, your first steps are:
- decide on a topic and format
- set up your equipment and software
- select the best podcast hosting platform
- record your content!
Like blogging, podcasting takes a while to grow an audience and see results, but is tremendously rewarding. I can honestly say that starting The Side Hustle Show was life-changing.
11. Create Video Content for YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram Reels
It’s no secret we spend a ton of time watching video content online on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and of course, YouTube. (According to Statista, 92% of global Internet users watch online video!)
What does that mean for lawyers? It means there’s an opportunity to create content that:
- explains legal concepts
- answers common legal questions
- reacts to current news from a legal perspective
You can do this via short-form (less than 60 seconds) or long-form video content. One example is Erika Kullberg, an attorney who started on YouTube but has expanded to other platforms as well. (Her channel has over 1M subscribers!)
As you start to grow your Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube and build an engaged follower base, you can start to monetize with sponsorships, ads, or your own products and services.
12. Create an Online Course
Creating an online course or digital product is great way to get paid over and over again from work you do once. The products I see having the most success are the ones that solve a specific problem for a specific audience — not the ones that try to condense 3 years of law school into a short video series.
For example, Mariam Tsaturyan has created a number of products that address specific legal issues faced by bloggers and online business owners. She sells:
- contract templates
- website legal agreement templates
- a course on how bloggers can be ADA compliant
Once you develop your curriculum, you can sell the course via your own site or upload them to sites like Udemy and Skillshare.
13. Publish a Book
Similar to online courses, you could share your legal expertise in written format through a book.
For instance, if you’re a lawyer who specializes in real estate law, you could write a book that answers commonly-asked questions for new landlords.
Most Side Hustle Nation readers will go the self-publishing route through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, but you can also pitch traditional publishers. On Amazon, you can set your own price and earn a 70% author royalty on Kindle books sold between $2.99 and $9.99.
While I’m not a lawyer, self-publishing is one of my favorite side hustles. It’s earned me almost $80,000 over the last decade.
14. Mobile Notary Service
You don’t need a legal background to become a notary, but it’s not going to hurt. Many Side Hustle Nation readers have started their own mobile notary loan signing agent businesses.
If you’ve ever bought a house, this is the person who walks you through the big stack of mortgage documents you have to sign. And for each appointment, they typically get paid $75-150, which works out to a pretty healthy hourly rate.
This is also a flexible side hustle because most signings take place after work hours. To learn more check out the video below and the resources at Loan Signing System.
15. Dividend Investing
Over the last several years, I’ve been actively building up what I call my “cash flow portfolio.” This is a growing collection of mostly dividend-paying stocks and ETFs that has grown into a pretty substantial income stream.
The way I look at it is to take a portion of my monthly earnings to buy assets that will keep paying me. I have a bias toward businesses with long histories of paying and increasing their dividends.
Even if it’s not the most tax efficient form of investing, it’s exciting to get paid truly passive income and watch the account grow over time.
You can do this through any online brokerage, like Fidelity or M1 Finance.
16. Rental Property Investing
Starting a real estate side hustle is a popular move for high earning professionals like lawyers.
Rental property is a relatively recession-proof business since everyone needs a place to live. (Over 35% of Americans rent their home.)
Roofstock is a cool site that makes it easy to shop for cash-flowing rental properties nationwide.
On top of the monthly cash flow, real estate comes with great tax advantages and tends to appreciate over time.
17. Commercial Real Estate
If dealing with tenants, toilets, and termites doesn’t sound like a great side hustle, you might consider commercial real estate instead.
Sites like Fundrise allows you to invest in a portfolio of commercial properties all around the country. I’ve been a Fundrise investor for years and they’ve consistently paid quarterly dividends.
Plus, you can get started with as little as $10.
18. Buy a Profitable Business
Getting a new side hustle off the ground is the hardest part. But what if you could skip that step, and buy a business that’s already profitable?
Since you’re probably dedicating most of your time to your law career, look for businesses that are relatively hands-off, or ones that could be managed by someone else.
For example, Jono Santamaria purchased a laundromat, where he spends 5-10 hours a week on location and improving operations.
19. Legal Transcription
As a legal transcriptionist, your job would be listening to recordings and converting them into text. Because of the legal jargon and complex terms, legal transcription tends to pay more than general transcription.
Still, earning $15-25 per hour might be realistic, so there may be more lucrative side hustles on this list.
As a lawyer, you’ve almost certainly developed a keen attention to detail. Your ability to peruse documents and ensure they’re error-free could be a valuable service to others.
Perhaps you niche down and proofread court transcriptions or other legal documents.
Glassdoor says the average proofreader rakes in about $20-30/hour, making it a solid side hustle for lawyers.
21. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant handles administrative duties and other responsibilities remotely for an individual or business. A lawyer can become a legal virtual assistant, which means you work with high-profile lawyers to handle their calls, set up their meetings, and just assist them.
This would be a great side hustle, particularly for law students or young lawyers because it could help you gain experience and mentorship. The average virtual assistant earns $25-35/hour, according to Zip Recruiter.
The Best Side Hustles for Lawyers: Final Thoughts
The best side hustle for lawyers is — like almost everything — totally subjective. The best option for you depends on your specific interests, skills, and goals.
Still, I hope you found some inspiration in this list and checked a few of the options to explore further.
Serious About Making Extra Money?
- Start Your Free $500 Challenge. My free 5-day email course shows you how to add $500 to your bottom line.
- Join the free Side Hustle Nation Community. The free Facebook group is the best place to connect with other side hustlers and get your questions answered.
- Download The Side Hustle Show. My free podcast shares how to make extra money with actionable weekly episodes.