December 7, 2023


Moving Forward

From Biglaw To Freelance Law: How Pivoting To Freelance Work Helped Me Find Balance As A Military Spouse And Mom

happy lawyer babyEd. notice: This is the most up-to-date installment in a series of posts on motherhood in the lawful occupation, in partnership with our close friends at MothersEsquire. Welcome Michelle Camp to our web pages. Simply click below if you’d like to donate to MothersEsquire.

In tumble 2012, I built a determination that would without end change my job trajectory: I married an active obligation servicemember. At the time, I was a young associate in a massive, prestigious legislation firm with no notion what the foreseeable future would keep. My partner was quite supportive of my vocation, and even passed on specified of his own opportunities to assure we could continue to be in California so I could proceed doing work for my agency. This is not generally attainable for army people, but we have been fortunate for the reason that we lived in San Diego wherever loads of jobs have been available to allow us to remain.

Fast forward to 2016, and I was a seventh-calendar year affiliate at the exact regulation firm, but now with two quite younger young children at house. As if the needs of billable hours and two younger young children weren’t ample, that year grew to become even more challenging when my spouse left on a seven-thirty day period overseas deployment when our ladies had been just 18 months and 5 months aged. As is typical with army lifetime, I did not have any household users near by to assistance pitch in from time to time, which left me solo parenting every one night and weekend. Most times, I would come property from perform, reduce our nanny, put the ladies to mattress, and then get again on the net and perform until the wee hours of the early morning.

Somewhere together the line, I understood that doing the job total time at a classic law firm just was not suitable with my lifetime as a armed forces partner and mom holding down the fort by itself so far absent from spouse and children. At the very same time, I was not ready to completely give up my job, so I began wanting into the risk of portion-time freelance do the job. Then in Could 2016, I turned in my notice at the regulation agency that had been my “home” for my complete profession, and took a huge leap into the unidentified.

I had no plan back again then how existence-transforming freelance operate would be for me and my household. It has afforded me entire management in excess of my program, which has been a must have with a deployable partner and young youngsters. It afforded me fantastic adaptability and peace of intellect when, a lot less than a calendar year later, I turned pregnant with extremely large-hazard twins, necessitating countless health practitioner appointments and several healthcare facility stays. And also when, a couple of decades following that, the COVID-19 pandemic strike, creating huge uncertainty and closing workplaces, daycares, and faculties. Flexible, freelance work has been a lifesaver during these complicated and unparalleled moments and in typical as a mom of 4 youthful, very energetic girls.

No for a longer period tied to California for my occupation because I freelance from wherever, my partner was ready to consider on options that demanded moves, foremost us to Alabama for a year for a master’s software, then to Nebraska, then on to Virginia in which we at present dwell. It has been remarkable to be able to transfer with the military without having the problem of what I will do for get the job done that a lot of army spouses facial area.

In addition to giving comprehensive regulate over my program and locale, freelance operate has also afforded me entire regulate around the kinds of assignments I choose on, and the people I pick out to perform with. These more factors have designed my legal occupation immeasurably more fulfilling, as I perform on projects and with people I actually delight in.

Mainly because of freelancing, I can stability a vocation I appreciate with the calls for of motherhood and military existence. Searching back again, it was the ideal occupation determination I could have created.

headshot(2)Michelle Camp is a freelance lawyer accredited to follow in California and Nebraska.  Considering that 2016, Michelle has been assisting solo practitioners, boutique companies, and in-dwelling counsel with a wide variety of business litigation and labor & employment projects on a freelance foundation.  She presently life with her husband and four little ones in Chesapeake, Virginia.  You can e-mail her at [email protected], or connect with her on Twitter @freelancelawmom.