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Constitutional law may not be the best option for a home based legal business, but there are other choices.

My friend Devorah is an outstanding attorney.  She wants to use her legal skills for a home business.  So she and I sat down and tried to figure out what she might do.  We started out by eliminating goals that probably weren’t the best for a home based business.

Most importantly, working with large corporations in any field was probably not going to work well.  Large corporations have a staff of attorneys of their own, and they tend to hire outside help from large law firms.  That alone eliminated lots of ideas.

Things like “becoming incorporated” probably wasn’t the best idea since there is already a very strong site online for that.

“Mergers and acquisitions” are just for big companies, so that was out.

Being a tax attorney probably wouldn’t work since only large companies hire tax attorneys.

But working with mid-size companies in the area seemed like a reasonable choice.  Most of the meetings would be at the clients’ offices, so she wouldn’t need a large fancy office herself.  This was not her favorite option, so we kept on going.

“Well, Dev,” said I, “what have you done at some point in your legal career that you especially enjoyed?

It turns out that there were several things she had enjoyed doing.

  • She had enjoyed a college summer stint helping undocumented immigrants get documentation.
  • She had enjoyed helping her mom sell the little lingerie shop she had had for 20 years.
  • She had enjoyed reading through the old time title report that her friend got when she bought some property in Alaska.
  • She had enjoyed being a notary for several residents in a retirement community who were setting up their wills.
  • She had enjoyed the process of getting all the parties to agree in a merger/acquisitions transaction.
  • She had enjoyed doing legal research on almost anything.
  • She had enjoyed being a mediator.

I got busy cogitating to see if somewhere in all these “likes” there might be a home business based on her legal experience.  I came up with a few ideas for her.

(1)  Work as a local immigration attorney.  Most undocumented immigrants won’t go to a large firm, but they will go a sole practitioner they know and trust.  This is probably not the highest paying legal profession, but it is one with a lot of satisfaction in it.  This would likely not involve much online work.  But she would need to set up an office at home, and would need to do an apprenticeship with an immigration attorney, as well as have an experienced pro on call for difficult cases.  But this was very doable as a home based legal business.

Another angle would be to work with those who want to immigrate to the US, helping them with the tons of paperwork and thousands of decisions that need to be made along the way.  This aspect of the job would be much more computer-intensive, requiring that she make contact with people in foreign countries.

In either case, Dev thought she would need to brush up on her Spanish, which was fine with her, and she liked the idea.

(2)  Serve as an arbitrator for local companies.  She could rent local shared office space for the actual arbitration, but otherwise work from home.  This would call upon her legal expertise extensively, and allow her to use skills that she really enjoyed.

But it was the third idea that I personally liked the best.

(3)  Establish an online business as a website transfer agent.  Once a deal was struck, she would create the “to do” list for each party and hold the funds until everything was complete, according to their agreement.  Upon completion of tasks, she would transfer the funds.

In conjunction with the website transfer agent business, she could also act as either buyer’s agent or seller’s agent in the sale of larger websites.  Trust me, qualified reps are really hard to find in this area.  This would draw upon many levels of her business expertise, and allow her to work completely from home.

Wow.  Now she had several very viable business options to choose from.  Dev was delighted.  I was delighted too.  I knew that no matter which choice she opted for, the world would have a happier lawyer in its midst.

Do you have any other suggestions for Dev?  She and I would both love to hear them.  Please scribble a note in the Comments below.