Our legal freelancers are in complete control of their working hours. Work can be shaped to fit easily around other commitments, including childcare, leisure or business. The work/life balance is tipped heavily in favour of “life”.
When new assignments land, we contact suitably qualified freelancers from our pool with the details. We can usually be flexible on working hours, with each freelancer specifying the number of hours they would like to work each week (subject to certain project constraints.) The freelancers can then deliver their specified weekly hours in accordance with their availability, for example it suits some people to work between school drop-off and pick up and to make up additional hours in the evenings or over the weekend.
We have two types of engagement: ongoing, routine legal work (such as NDA drafting), and legal projects (for example eDisclosure and document reviews).
Projects typically begin with some reading-in materials and a briefing call from the instructing law firm. If we’re using any legal tech, there will also be a technology briefing for anyone who needs it. Early on in each project, you can expect a lot of feedback to ensure a sound understanding and consistent approach across the team. This is followed by regular team meetings and interactions throughout the project to provide support and much-needed social interaction when working from home.
Ongoing, routine legal engagements often work on a cab rank system: a task will land and freelancers will be notified using our secure task management system. The task will be assigned to one of the freelancers who indicates they have availability at that time.
We’re always on the look out for experienced legal freelancers to join our pool and receive notifications about our matters when they need resourcing. Ideally we are looking for training and post qualification experience with leading City or national firms, or experience from working in the legal departments of large national or international organisations.
As an alternative legal services business, we pitch our services as ‘advanced paralegals’, working under the instruction of law firms or in-house lawyers. It’s fine if you do not hold a current practising certificate or if you have taken some time out of the profession for any reason. We’re not likely to go deep into areas requiring up-to-date technical expertise and it’s your transferable skills we’re most interested in – diligence, comprehension, drafting, reliability etc.
We asked one of our regular freelancers, Allastair, to explain his background and his insights on working with Jandr.
Hi Allastair. Please start by telling us a little about your career before Jandr.
I grew up in New Zealand and practised law with leading firms in New Zealand and Australia before moving to London in 2006 and joining Travers Smith’s commercial litigation department.
So, aside from practising and being legally qualified in three countries, and relocating to the opposite side of the globe, a traditional law firm career?
Ahhhh, not quite! It started out that way, but I’ve taken a few changes of direction since. Following a last-minute invite on a ski weekend, I fell in love with the sport and it has been a passion ever since. After countless holidays and long weekends, I achieved a standard where I was able to train as a ski instructor and spent a couple of seasons doing that, contracting in London as a lawyer during the summer/autumn months.
Wow, so you’re a ski instructor now?
Actually, I haven’t done that for a while now. After periods living in London, Munich and France, I ended up in Seville where I started teaching Business and Legal English as a foreign language and this developed my teaching bug, and I felt very at home living in a European city centre with its culture, restaurants and nightlife.
I guess we shouldn’t assume that you are still in Seville?
And you would be correct not to! I enjoyed my time in Seville but I was eager to teach those subjects, namely law, where I could share my personal experiences with my students. I managed to find a way to combine all of my experiences and preferences listed above: and these days I am a law professor at a leading French university in Toulouse, just a short train ride from ski fields in the Pyrenees!
That is quite a CV so far! And you find time to work with Jandr (we assume, otherwise where is this going?!)
Correct! I have a lot of free time around my teaching commitment during term time, and many weeks of holiday during the year. The perfect opportunity to supplement my income and save for Project Ski (an apartment in a ski resort).
When a new matter lands, one of the Jandr teams gets in touch to check availability. I have complete freedom at this point to decline the work if I’m busy on university matters. If I’m around, I let Jandr know what hours I can work over the anticipated duration of the project. I get to pick when I work and how many hours I work each week. This allows me to work around my university timetable even during term time – including at weekends if it suits me to work them. I very much enjoy the work and tend to dedicate as many hours as I can during a project.
And what kinds of matters have you worked on with Jandr?
eDisclosure document reviews mainly, but I’ve also performed analytical reviews as part of trial preparation and compliance reviews for a global bank. I’ve worked on some fascinating matters, including a $5bn fraud claim (dubbed “Tech’s Trial of the Century”), and claims involving renewable energy, competition law, international shipping, care homes, film investment schemes, insolvency disputes, and more.
Projects vary from a few weeks to several months, and typically I would work between 25-45 hours a week depending on my availability.
Sounds interesting! Aside from the work, what do you enjoy about working for Jandr?
Well, without the flexibility that Jandr offers, I would not be able to get involved in this kind of work. I’m not aware of any other company which gives its freelancers the kind of control we have with Jandr. I also enjoy the quality of the work and the opportunity to work with leading firms on a variety of cases.
This modern and unique approach to staffing attracts people with more experience, with the result that we feel like we are members of a high performing team. We often put eyes on documents before the lawyers running the claim and with Jandr we get opportunities to present findings of interest directly to the client, which can be rewarding.
Remote document review can be lonely – there’s no water cooler to chat at. However, Jandr reviews are fun to work on, honestly! There’s an element of “taking the work seriously, but not ourselves”. There are regular team calls such as briefing calls and update/feedback calls throughout the review both internally at Jandr and with the law firms with whom we are working. We also have secure chat conversations in Microsoft Teams. Whilst the focus of these communications is very much on the work, the Jandr PMs create a relaxed and comfortable environment for good natured conversations around and including the work stuff. Everyone always feels that they can speak up on calls and ask/answer questions in the chat. It fosters a very collaborative environment.
Do you have to be a tech wiz to work remotely?
No, thankfully! Jandr has a virtual machine environment which I log into from my home computer. The virtual machine is secure and does not result in any sensitive client data reaching my computer. Jandr provides all the guidance and support you need to access the VMs. The VMs have all the software we need to work and collaborate, including Teams and Outlook.
We generally use eDisclosure platforms to review large volumes of documents. Despite the complexity of these platforms, the workflows for reviewers are quite straightforward and, again, we’re supported all the way. Most people find that within an hour or so, you’ve mastered the functionality that you will need to use to perform the review.
This has been really helpful, thank you. Any other tips before you go?
You’re welcome. Only to say that if you are interested in this kind of work, then do drop Jandr a line. It could be something you try out for a project or two, without making any overarching commitment and without having to give up other aspects of your life. If you find out it is not for you, at least you’ve worked on an interesting case or two and earned a bit of cash in the process.
Our freelancers have complete control over their working hours and locations, allowing them to build a flexible and sustainable working arrangement.
Ours is a service provided by lawyers, for lawyers. As such, we understand the high standards of quality and accuracy that are required, even for the more mundane, less glamorous tasks.
Our remote working arrangement combined with a commitment to entirely offset our carbon footprint is sustainable for the planet.
We support our freelancers on their journey with us, with guidance and constructive feedback to develop their skills and expertise. This is especially true in the case of our freelancers who are returning to work after a period of time out to start a family or to pursue other non-legal interests.
We provide immediate and much-needed support to our lawyer clients. Our fully formed teams are lead by an experienced legal project manager, freeing up the instructing lawyers to focus on their more urgent matters.