Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Amanda Mineer and I began a bold adventure to create a community of legal freelancers across the country and to begin the process of creating comprehensive resources for that community.
The first steps towards our goal for NAFLP have been taken, and we realized that it is now time to turn over the leadership reins of NAFLP to someone more experienced in developing the resources and organizational structure that Amanda and I had envisioned.
After searching for just the right person, we have selected Chere Estrin, founder of The Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP), Estrin Education, Inc. (an online training organization for legal professionals), KNOW magazine for paralegals, and SUE magazine for women litigators, to take NAFLP into a bright, continuing future.
Chere has taken over the responsibility of running NAFLP as of January 1, 2011.
Your NAFLP membership benefits will continue and new benefits will shortly be added under this new leadership so look forward to notices of these exciting new developments early in the year.
I will continue on with NAFLP as an advisor and look forward to seeing your further successes as freelance legal professionals.
Melody A. Kramer, Co-Founder
National Association of Freelance Legal Professionals
Monday, October 4, 2010
Amanda Mineer and I had a vision of providing an organization to support, educate, and benefit freelance legal professionals around the country, and to educate the legal profession about the benefits of the freelance legal market. To bring that dream to reality, we founded the National Association of Freelance Legal Professionals (NAFLP) and launched a blog and website in early 2008. Our vision and work have taken this project from mere vision to reality. Thank you for your participation in that process.
Much has been accomplished thus far, but there is also much more to be done. However, it is time for someone else to take over the mantle of leadership and build on what has already been created.
To that end, we are actively recruiting for someone to take over NAFLP starting January 1, 2011. We are looking for someone who is passionate about helping legal freelancers build and run successful businesses, and interested in taking NAFLP to the next level of development and member services. Active members of NAFLP will be given first consideration, but anyone interested is invited to respond.
NAFLP already has a website, downloadable educational materials, member and mailing lists of over 3,000, social media exposure, affiliate agreements, written materials regarding legal freelancing, and more. The right candidate will be willing and able to take this foundation and build for the future.
The proposal deadline is October 25, 2010 5:00p.m. Pacific. Requirements are posted below.
Again, thank you for being a part of NAFLP's development thus far, and we look forward to a smooth transition to its next stage of development. Feel free to pass on this recruitment notice to anyone you think may be interested in this opportunity.
Proposal deadline: October 25, 2010 5:00p.m. Pacific
Submit email proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit hard-copy proposals to:
Melody A. Kramer
National Association of Freelance Legal Professionals
9930 Mesa Rim Road, Suite 1600
San Diego, CA 92121
The successful proposal will include at least the following: name and contact information, brief statement of what your vision would be for NAFLP in 2011 and beyond, what connection you already have (if any) with the legal freelancing market, education, experience or expertise that would you make you particularly suited to taking over NAFLP, and your proposed terms for taking over NAFLP.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
When I moved to San Diego, I experienced a new level of the creative power of Legos on a visit to Legoland, a theme park with rides and attractions, all featuring the ageless Lego blocks. The sculptures and landscapes constructed out of hundreds of thousands of Lego blocks boggle the mind! Here is a picture of a massive dragon dwarfing the child standing next to it. Here is a picture of a replica of the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, complete with cars, fountains, and tourists. These and hundreds more are all made out of those same individual Lego blocks I played with as a child.
So what do Legos have to do with freelancers? A lot, actually. Individual Lego blocks are colorful, useful, hardy, and practically indestructible. However, they have little use or longevity by themselves. By themselves, they are little different from any other piece of plastic and will, sooner or later, get sucked up by a vacuum cleaner and end up in a landfill. Together with other blocks, however, they can build the most amazing things, then be disconnected and be built into other amazing things. The possibilities are endless.
Freelancers are like Lego blocks. Individually they sit around the country, periodically used in projects (by law firms), but far too much of the time collecting dust on a shelf. It is hard to see that freelancers are even there. By themselves, they are small and don’t attract much attention. If a law firm is looking, even if they want to use a freelancer, they may not be able to find one.
Freelancers, it’s time to do some building. Unite together in a force that will be seen and cannot be ignored by the legal profession. NAFLP needs your participation to thrive and grow. Only you can make it happen.
Monday, June 21, 2010
As I stare out the airplane window, my mind runs through all the things to be done. It’s a quick trip. Find a house and head back across the country to finish packing. I have so many things still to do – I haven’t even touched the kitchen and I still need to schedule the utilities. Oh yeah, I also need to finish that paternity action when we land.
I am a military spouse. I am also a freelance paralegal. Why? So I don’t have to give up my career every time we transfer. Lately, that seems to be regularly. We’re leaving Washington after less than two years and just learned that we may only be in Louisiana for one year instead of three. I don’t think I’m going to unpack much more than my kitchen and office this time around. . . .
READ MORE at the new NAFLP blog
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Guest blog, courtesy of NAFLP member attorney Vincent Kan*
Freelancing provides many great benefits - the pride and satisfaction of owning your own business, flexibility in how you accomplish your work, improved work-life balance, amongst others. However, with all the benefits comes all of the burdens of ownership including paying income and employment taxes. Understanding these obligations is important to ensure taxes are paid on time and without stiff penalties from the Internal Revenue Service. For the purposes of this article, I will assume that you are either a sole proprietor or the only member of an LLC which has not made a Form 8832 election to be treated as a corporation (and is also treated as a sole proprietor). Freelancers operating in the corporate form (with or without an S election) face additional reporting requirements and restrictions at the entity level.
Employer Identification Number
Most businesses are required to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service in order to process their ongoing tax obligations. Sole proprietors can use their social security number(SSN) in lieu of an EIN if they do not have employees or file excise, employment, alcohol, tobacco, or firearms returns. Despite this, freelancers may still want to get an EIN for their work as many businesses who pay you are required to get your either your SSN or EIN (through Form W-9) in order to meet their own information reporting requirements to the IRS (usually Form 1099-MISC). Having an EIN both future-proofs your business in the event you do need to hire employees of your own to help manage your work and minimizes the risk of identity theft through disclosure of your SSN to your vendors.
Like your former employer, you as a freelancer are subject to income tax on your freelance work’s gross income minus deductions and credits. As the vast majority of freelancers will be on the calendar-year cash method, this means that . . .
CLICK HERE to read the rest of this article on the new NAFLP site