Top 5 Benefits of Working as an Interim Attorney


Hillary Ahearn

Hillary Ahearn is a Director of Legal Recruitment in Stamford, Connecticut and has been with the company since joining in 1999. With approximately twenty years of experience, Hillary has a deep understanding of the local markets in CT, Westchester NY, and the Northeast in general. Hillary works with a wide range of candidates as well as both law firm and corporate clients. She is particularly adept at working with senior-level attorneys who have expertise in niche practices and has placed them in interim positions with her many clients who she has developed relationships with over the years. Hillary received her BA degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and her JD degree from American University, Washington College of Law.

I have placed many interim attorneys over the course of my career with Special Counsel and have always been proud of the benefits that we provide, including medical, dental, vision and a 401K. Additionally, Special Counsel offers holiday pay and a service bonus for our interim attorneys  who have been on long-term assignments with our clients.

Interim opportunities offer an alternative route to permanent in-house opportunities

Interestingly, one of the greatest benefits to working as an interim attorney isn’t actually a traditional benefit- but rather an opportunity to land a coveted in-house position. Many of my substantive interim attorney opportunities are with corporate clients, and they often turn into permanent positions in the clients’ legal departments. 

For example, I placed a global transactions attorney on a three-year temporary or interim assignment with one of our national banking clients. During the three-year assignment, the interim attorney had access to all of the traditional benefits provided by Special Counsel and noted above. Best of all… at the end of the three-year assignment, the bank made him a permanent employee and years later, he is still with them today!

Interim opportunities also provide a career re-entry point for attorneys looking to return to practice. I once worked with an attorney who had experience as a Corporate Associate with a prominent large law firm and in-house roles with global corporations, but who then took off six years to care for her children. I strategized with this attorney on how to best to position her expertise, and I placed her as an interim attorney with a global corporation. Within a month, the company was so impressed with her that they made her a permanent employee. Shortly thereafter, the company promoted her to Associate General Counsel. The benefit of starting as an interim attorney was the opportunity to get her foot in the door of a great company, which might have passed on her as a permanent hire, to show them just how good a fit she was for them.

Top five benefits of being an interim attorney:

Other benefits of working as an interim attorney include:

  • Flexibility: You have the option to work on a part-time basis or as needed, to fit in or around your own practice or consulting business or personal priorities like children and family.
  • Work Remotely: As communication technology evolves, our clients are increasingly open to candidates working remotely from home and have the technological infrastructure to support a successful remote environment.
  • Variety: You have the ability to build upon your expertise, and work on interesting new areas you may not have had a chance to in previous positions. Challenging yourself in this way helps bolster both your skills and resume.
  • Money: Bring in additional income while searching for a permanent position or supplement an emerging consulting business with a steady paycheck.
  • Opportunities: Interim positions can (and often do) lead to a permanent position with the firm or company you are temping with. This is a chance for our clients and our candidates to mutually see if they are a great fit together.

Benefits of working as an interim attorney for Special Counsel:

Finally, if you choose to work as an interim attorney for Special Counsel, you are eligible for the following benefits: 

  • Holiday Pay: All active associates who have worked 1000+ hours during the last 6 months may qualify for holiday pay!
  • Service Bonuses: Associates are eligible to receive one service bonus per calendar year after working 1800 hours within the same payroll year.
  • Traditional Benefits: Medical/Dental/Vision/401K – Associates are eligible for all the perks that normally long-term permanent employees receive after only working for us for 1 month.

If you are an attorney looking for a flexible assignment or looking for an opportunity to get in the door of a firm or company you always liked, please contact us at Special Counsel – we are experts in placing interim attorneys!

Hillary Ahearn is a Director of Legal Recruitment at SCI, the legal talent division of Special Counsel.

Attract & Retain Top Talent

With a rapidly changing industry, it's vital to offer the right compensation and set the right expectation. With our Salary Guide, get detailed job descriptions, industry insights and local salary data to equip your managers with hiring confidence and expertise.

Get your copy »

Get email updates about more content like this.


| Next articles in The Column blog |

Get the foundation you need to hire the best legal talent.

Request your copy of our 2021 Salary Guide »