1. Quick Summary
  2. What Are the Best Side Gigs for Lawyers?
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. Can an Attorney Have a Side Gig?
  5. Side Gig Ideas
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Conclusion: Side Hustles Ideas for Lawyers

You have a law practice, but there's been a downturn in the economy, and you've lost some clients. Or you're a public defender and don't earn much money. Regardless of circumstances, having a side gig could mean the difference between a beautiful 4,000-square-foot or a cramped 1,700-square-foot house. You need a side gig. But what can an attorney do?

What Are the Best Side Gigs for Lawyers?

The best side gigs for lawyers are writing an eBook, teaching law, blogging, being a mobile notary or youth referee, business consulting, probate litigation, real estate investing, dog walking/pet sitting, selling antiques, Airbnb hosting, tour guiding, and public speaking.

Key Takeaways

  • Lawyers can have side gigs if there is no conflict of interest with their legal duties or the bar.

  • Popular side gig options for lawyers include writing an eBook, teaching law, blogging, being a mobile notary or youth referee, business consulting, probate litigation, real estate investing, dog walking/pet sitting, selling antiques, Airbnb hosting, tour guiding, and public speaking.

  • It's advisable to inform your employer about your side gig to avoid any issues.

Can an Attorney Have a Side Gig?

You can have one as long as a side hustle isn't a conflict of interest with your legal duties or the bar. Side hustles are common among individuals, even lawyers. It's wise to talk to your employer or, in some cases, your clients to determine if there's a conflict.

Since side hustles are common, you may be wondering what you can do that is interesting, makes money, and doesn't conflict with your legal duties. Here are some side gigs that suit attorneys.

Side Gig Ideas

1. Write an eBook

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An eBook or electronic book is converted to a digital format that people can read on their devices. Because they are convenient and have lower costs, eBooks have gained popularity.

An eBook can cover many subjects. Since you are one of the legal professionals in the country, you could address or explain legal issues to lay people or even share your legal expertise with the world.

You also could go a step further and write a textbook.

If you want a break from the law and have an imagination or hobby, write about your hobby or mystery.

You can write about anything you wish. To start, you must first write the book. 

But there are other steps you must take, including:

  1. Edit and finalize
  2. Compose a book description
  3. Create a cover (or outsource it to an artist)
  4. Select an appropriate format – reflowable, fixed-layout, or PDF
  5. Select an eBook platform (we’ll get into that in a minute)
  6. Determine price point
  7. Determine publication date
  8. Publish

One of the most critical steps is finalizing and editing. You can’t publish if you don’t finish it. Also, you may think you or a friend are a good editor, but hire a third-party editor to polish your book. They will find errors you’ll miss.

Writing an eBook costs between $500 and $3,000, so use an editor so you make it right.

We said we’d talk about platforms for your eBook. There are numerous places where you can publish your book.

Some of these include:

There are many more if you’re not satisfied with these.

Don’t have time to write a book but want to publish it? Use a ghostwriter. There are many online. Be sure to interview them and check samples of their previous work to ensure they match your style.

2. Teach Law

You have the credentials, so why not teach? Contact local colleges or technical schools to see if there are any openings.

When you are hired to teach, ensure that you are organized. You’ll need to write a syllabus and have the time to grade papers.

But this can be a rewarding side gig.

3. Blogger

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Write a blog about the law or your career. Many potential law students would appreciate reading about the trials and tribulations of being a lawyer.

You could also write about a hobby. If you woodwork or garden, there’s a blog waiting to happen.

You’ll need a platform to rent space on the internet. Some platforms are:

You’ll also need a name for your blog. This will be your domain. They usually cost about $19 or less per year.

If you want to know, you should take a look at this article “Getting paid by writing” and you’ll get a lot more ideas after reading it.

You can literally start this side with almost no money at all.

4. Mobile Notary

Another side gig is a mobile notary. These are also known as traveling notaries and are quite different from the legal industry you are used to.

A mobile notary is a notary public who travels to a client’s location to perform notarization services. They are commissioned by the state and can charge between $70 and $175.

The total cost can vary depending on the travel distance.

5. Youth Referee

If you're into sports, you should referee youth games. A youth referee manages' children's sports games. 

Some of their duties are:

  • Ensuring players follow rules.
  • Keeping score.
  • Stopping play when necessary.

You need to know the rules of the game to become a referee. You also must have the ability to work with young players.

You must qualify as a referee in some states and sports organizations. 

To do this, you must:

  • Complete online modules.
  • Attend a webinar.
  • Participate in in-person field sessions.

Once you complete the requirements, you’ll be allowed to officiate youth levels and amateur adult matches in most states.

According to the U.S. Soccer website, most referees earn between $20 and $30 per game. Many referees are expected to work two to four matches per weekend.

Not all sports have the same requirements. Check the website for the sports organization that interests you.

In case If you are interested in knowing some ways that pay on a daily basis, you can check out my article on the topic.

6. Business Consultant

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If you have a mind for business, you might want to enter the business consulting realm. These are also known as management consultants.

You’ll provide guidance and advice to help businesses accomplish their goals. Most business consultants work with business owners or managers and offer advice in many areas. 

They include:

  • Improve operations.
  • Increase efficiencies.
  • Develop growth strategies.

Business consultants who do this full-time can make between $77,000 to $121,000, with others earning more.

As a part-time gig, work with local businesses and charge what you think is fair.

7. Probate Litigator

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A probate litigator represents people who disagree with how certain aspects of a decedent's estate have been handled. 

These also include:

  • How a will has been handled
  • Power of attorney.
  • How a trust is being managed.

These are trial lawyers who are familiar with these situations.

You need to ensure this aspect of law does not conflict with the type of law you normally practice.

8. Real Estate

It’s said that real estate is recession-proof. We can’t guarantee that’s true, but it is a good way to make some extra income.

Many people don't want to be a landlord or don't know where to start. We have a few ways to get started in the real estate business.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

A real estate investment trust (REIT) lets you invest without the physical real estate. It’s often compared to mutual funds. 

These are companies that own:

  • Office buildings.
  • Apartments.
  • Retail spaces.
  • Hotels.

You invest in this company like a stockholder and receive dividends. Real estate investment trusts tend to pay high dividends.

Online Real Estate Investing Platform

Real estate platforms connect investors to developers. You finance projects through debt or equity. You would receive monthly or quarterly distributions. But you would be taking on risk. You’d also have to pay a fee to the platform.

Some platforms include:

None of the examples are endorsed by MoneyHawk. But they are examples of what is available.

Real estate investing platforms require a large investment. As defined by the Security Exchange Commission, you'll need an income of more than $200,000 as an individual or $300,000 with a spouse.

Alternatives for those who can’t meet this requirement are Fundrise and RealtyMogul.

Invest in Rental Properties

Buying rental properties to rent to others can be lucrative. Many will purchase properties in college towns where they are always full.

You want to find something with expenses (mortgage) lower than you’ll charge for rent. Keep in mind if you don’t want to fix the water heater yourself, you’ll need to pay a property manager. That’s also an expense.

Some property managers charge eight to 12 percent of the monthly rent. While others charge a flat fee of $50 to $300.

9. Dog Walker/Pet Sitter

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This can be a great and fun gig for all you animal lovers.

You can earn extra cash by babysitting dogs or cats. You might even sit for an exotic animal like an iguana.

You’ll have the flexibility when it comes to booking clients. 

You can also set:

  • Size.
  • Age.
  • Breed.
  • other pet preferences.

You can advertise by word of mouth or let veterinarian offices know you’re available. Some apps will help you book clients. They are:

These services will help you manage your schedule while connecting you to clients. You can work when you want.

Rover provides up to $25,000 in vet care reimbursement for eligible claims.

You can charge whatever you want, but these apps require a percentage of your proceeds. Remember this when you're establishing your rates.

10. Sell Antiques

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Buying and selling antiques is a lucrative side gig. You may go antiquing or have inherited your grandmother’s furniture, either way, selling them can put quite a lot of change in your pocket. But there are several steps to buying and selling antiques.

Value Antiques

To sell antiques, you must first value them. This is important when it comes to price. Too high, and they won't sell, and too low, and you’ll leave money on the table.

There are several ways to determine your antique’s price and quality. You could search on Google or pullup sites like 1stdibs and compare their offerings with yours.

Google's reverse image services, such as CamFind, will help simplify the process.

CamFind is a mobile visual search engine. You can search for information from pictures taken by your smartphone. It uses CoudSight. 

That’s an AI recognition software that provides information like:

  • Related images.
  • Local shopping results.
  • Price comparisons.
  • Web results.

It’s a great tool to find a comparable item to your piece and price it.

Another way to investigate your antique’s worth is to hire an appraiser or talk to an antique dealer.

Research the appraiser before hiring them. You’ll want to:

  • Check reviews.
  • Experience level.
  • Whether they're a certified appraiser.

If you have a unique antique, try to find an appraiser specializing in that type. Many appraisers have specializations.

Where to Sell Antiques

Sellers have several options for selling their antiques. All are good options, but some have drawbacks.

You’ll need to choose the one that best fits your style or antique. Here are four ways to sell your antiques.

Antique Mall

These are sociable and collaborative ways to sell vintage items and antiques. You can mix with hundreds of dealers and a great many customers.

An antique mall works well whether you want to actively sell or just let your goods sell themselves.

You'll have a booth to show off your antiques. You don't have to operate it if you don't want to. When someone wants to purchase an item they go to the front desk and pay for it.

One advantage to selling it at an antique mall is you don’t have to worry about shipping.

Online Marketplaces

Many websites cater to selling antiques or vintage items. One is eBay.

The plus side of eBay is that it's been around for a long time. It's popular—a little too popular. However, it's crowded with items of similar quality, and as a result, they're undervalued.

Etsy is another vehicle where you can sell, but to stand out, you’ll need to pay promotional fees. This will cost you 15 percent of the sale.

There are other online marketplaces. They all take a piece of the sale, but because they only cater to those shopping for antiques, the sites have a better clientele.

These sites include:

The downside to selling on online marketplaces is that you must worry about shipping.

Although many online marketplaces advise on shipping or paying the shipper, you are usually in charge of packing the item.

This can be a downside.

Flea Markets

Many patrons are clamoring for a bargain, so you'll have to use negotiation skills for this one. But being in the thick of buyers and sellers can be fun. It's a fun atmosphere.

Although you may be able to negotiate a price for an antique item, many buyers are looking for vintage items and don’t know its pricing.

So, this is a viable option but not the best option.

11. Airbnb

Airbnb is a platform that matches local people with spare rooms or homes to rent to visitors.

The beauty of this arrangement is that owners can advertise worldwide on the Airbnb platform. Owners can also be comfortable knowing that Airbnb will handle all payments.

Guests can stay at a homey place. They may even have a kitchen, so they don’t have to eat in restaurants. It is often less expensive than a hotel.

As a host, you can rent out space in your home, like a bedroom or the entire house.

You’ll need to do the legal research on whether Airbnbs are permitted in your area. Some cities have banned them. Then, become familiar with Airbnb’s requirements.

Set up your account, and if you need ideas on creating a listing, contact Airbnb's "Superhost Ambassador” in your area.

You can add and update your house rules or other general settings. Just make sure you have no legal background issues.

Pricing for Airbnb

You'll need to set your pricing. A guest's payment includes your price plus a maximum service fee of 14.2 percent.

The owner pays Airbnb approximately a three percent fee.

If you are a couple, I have shared some of the best side hustles for a couple a few days back. Check it out if you are interested.

12. Tour Guide

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As a tour guide, you’ll get to meet people from all over the world. Most cities require some education, while others will give you a test on local history.

To be a successful tour guide, you’ll need these skills:

  • A personal interest in each guest: ask where they’re fun or if they are in the city on business or pleasure
  • Storytelling: Don’t just spit out historical data; you’ll overload your guests. Tell a story behind the data, and bring people into the story.
  • Inject humor: you don’t need to be a stand-up comic, but an occasional laugh keeps people involved.
  • Small touches: If you’re in a warm climate, bring sunscreen or drinks. These little touches mean a lot and can earn you tips.
  • Be flexible: if someone asks a question, answer it with an example. Don’t repeat your information like it’s rote.

The most important aspect of the job is being a good communicator. You should know and love the information you share, which should show.

13. Public Speaker

If you are a motivating person and want to impart law to the masses, public speaking might be your gig.

A public speaker presents a lecture or speech at a public or semi-public event. It could also be a private event like a business conference.

You’re already a public speaker to an extent. You’ve argued cases that influence juries. This is taking what you know to the next level.

What to Speak About

You can cover any topic you feel comfortable with. But you should match the information to your audience. What you speak about should be unique and bring something new.

There are many motivational speakers. What makes you different? Delve deep into yourself and develop a theme that differentiates you from other speakers.

How to Become a Public Speaker

There are several steps to becoming a public speaker. Start with the idea; it will take some work and some time. Here are the six steps.

  1. Define your message: Outline what you want to cover. Stay focused on the message, and don’t go off on tangents. It’s important to define why you are different from other speakers.
  2. Create a promise statement: What does the client want, and how will they gain by hiring you? Be clear as to what you have to offer.
  3. Develop your brand: Use visual aids to convey your message. These should go along with your promise statement. Choose specific and comfortable color pallets and fonts.
  4. Create and maintain a social media presence: This is an affordable way to build credibility. Make your posts informative and engaging. Make connections with other speakers. Once you’ve established yourself on social media, consider starting a blog.
  5. Get started by speaking for free: You need to practice and establish yourself. This is a great place to learn how to interact with the crowd. It will also let you see how receptive your message is.

You can set yourself up to succeed by practicing in front of the mirror. Practice in front of your partner, or practice just with yourself. The more you practice before you go in front of a crowd, the better you’ll be.

How Much Does a Public Speaker Earn

The amount of money you earn depends on several factors. 

They include:

  • Experience.
  • The industry you focus on.
  • Any awards.
  • Education.
  • Value of your message.

If you’re a good salesperson, you might be able to negotiate higher fees.

But generally speaking, you can make anywhere from $1,500 to $12,500 per gig.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve reviewed some side gigs you can do if you’re an attorney. But you might have other questions that need to be answered. We’re here for you. Here are some frequently asked questions.

1. How many lawyers have side gigs?

The majority of lawyers have side gigs. Most were involved with some form of social media. Many were involved with Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Fifty-two percent of attorneys cited content creation, writing, or affiliate marketing as ways to increase their income.

2. Do you have to tell your boss you have a side hustle?

Even if there isn’t a policy about side hustles, you should still let your boss know. If you don't, it will be awkward when they find out. They'll think you were sneaking around. Instead, explain your side hustle and assure them it will not interfere with your full-time job.

3. Is a side hustle considered a job?

A side hustle can earn extra income outside your full-time job. It's an additional endeavor or job that you do to earn extra money. Some take on side hustles to earn extra income, while others just want to practice and sell a hobby.

Conclusion: Side Hustles Ideas for Lawyers

If it doesn’t conflict with your practice, legal documents, law firms, legal aspects, legal career, or job, and your boss doesn’t mind, an attorney can take on a side gig.

There are many types of side hustles to choose from. If you're into a hobby, use that as an avenue to a small business. If you like to write, then create an eBook.

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