Attorney FAQs

FLEX HIRING PROCESS

Do I have to leave my current job in order to join the FLEX roster?

No. If you’re looking for interesting work opportunities or want to explore a new direction, it never hurts to go through our hiring process.

When the right engagement for you comes along, we’ll make sure the FLEX client is aware of any transition time that you need so you can give notice to your current employer once the FLEX client has made the decision to move forward.

That being said, there are some client needs that are immediate, so if you aren’t available immediately, you might not be considered for those engagements.

Am I considered a Fenwick associate if I join FLEX?

No. While FLEX is a service offered by Fenwick & West, FLEX operates outside of the firm’s structure. We have our own internal staff and recruit attorneys specifically for FLEX.

However, since many FLEX clients are also Fenwick clients, you can expect that you’ll get to know and, possibly work closely with, the Fenwick team.

Do I have to be a former Fenwick associate to be part of the FLEX program?

Definitely not – we welcome attorneys from other firms with in-house experience to apply!

What is FLEX’s hiring process?

We start with a phone call to learn more about your expertise and career goals. If your skills and goals are a good match for us, we’ll ask you to take a short test and have a call with us to discuss it. The test helps us assess negotiating and advising styles, which enables us to better match the attorneys who make it through the process with appropriate FLEX clients.

After passing the test, you’ll meet the internal team and we’ll answer any remaining questions you have. Then we’ll check your references and bar membership, and run a background and conflicts check. Once all that is successfully completed, we’ll officially invite you to join our bench.

What kinds of attorneys are you hiring right now?

Most FLEX clients need attorneys with broad licensing and technology transactions experience in the SF Bay Area, Seattle and New York. Often we have needs in other practice areas as well.

Take a look at our Apply Now page for more information on the skill-sets we’re currently looking for – but even if yours isn’t listed, we encourage you to start the conversation anyway. We’re always looking for excellent attorneys, and we may have a client need that matches your background perfectly.

FLEX ENGAGEMENT MECHANICS

How do FLEX attorneys get engagements?

When the FLEX internal team receives a call for help from a client, we identify all the FLEX attorneys that have the right legal skills, level of experience required by the client, and industry expertise (if necessary). We also take into account an attorney’s work-style compared to the client’s as well as the attorneys’ availability.

We’ll contact you to see if you’re interested in the engagement. If you’d like to be considered, we’ll submit you to the client. If the client likes your background, you’ll meet with them and you’ll both make a decision about whether to move forward.
We’ll contact you frequently throughout the course of the engagement to make sure it’s as successful as possible.

What kind of work will I be doing?

Think of FLEX attorneys as part of an in-house team rather than part of a law firm. You’ll work closely with the business team, work on day-to-day matters, and possibly, manage outside counsel.

How much can I expect to work, and how soon could I start working?

FLEX was created to provide flexibility to clients and attorneys, so some engagements are a few hours a week, while others are full-time.

FLEX attorneys who are flexible (pun intended!) are generally engaged as much as they want to be, and tend to get started pretty quickly. While FLEX attorneys can be as particular as they want, the more limiting your work parameters (i.e. around location, your availability, type of industry, etc.), the more limited your opportunities will likely be (and the longer it may take you to get engaged).

What are the benefits of joining FLEX?

Similar to other interim legal staffing agencies, FLEX gives attorneys access to flexible in-house work opportunities. But unlike those agencies, FLEX is the only service connected to an AmLaw100 firm.

This benefits you in several ways:

  • Because Fenwick & West has a great roster of exciting, fast-growing companies, FLEX tends to have more opportunities to work with both smaller, earlier stage growth-company clients, as well as larger, game-changers who are pushing to bring the next innovation to the world.
  • Our team of lawyer-trained staff is better equipped to understand your legal skills and to appropriately match them with client needs than the typical staffing agency “sales” person or recruiter.
  • You get the benefit of the association with Fenwick’s quality brand.
  • You’ll be able to access Fenwick-created forms and knowledge management databases.
  • You’ll be able to reach back into the law firm, if needed, to get additional support or deeper expertise beyond your own skills and expertise.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Are there benefits for FLEX attorneys?

Yes!

While you’re on an assignment, you’ll automatically be covered by our malpractice insurance, be able to access continuing legal education seminars through PLI and Fenwick, and save towards your retirement by participating in our 401K plan. We also have medical/dental/vision insurance group plans that you can participate in if you’re working with us at least half-time.

How will I be compensated?

Your compensation is set at the end of the hiring process and doesn’t vary based on what the client pays us. We review your years of experience in the areas that you’ll mostly likely be practicing, your industry expertise, and will set an annualized salary level that we think is comparable to a base salary you’d typically earn as in-house counsel at a private company.

Once you start an assignment, you earn a pro-rata portion of your annualized salary during the time you’re on the assignment. We know… you became a lawyer to avoid doing math. Unfortunately, some math is required…)

So, for instance, if you are working for 6 months, full-time, you’d earn half your annualized salary. If you work 3 days per week, you earn 3/5 of your weekly salary for every week that you’re on an assignment.

WORKING WITH FLEX CLIENTS

What if a FLEX client wants to hire me?

That depends on what you want to happen. If you want to be hired full-time, while we hate to lose our lawyers, we don’t believe in standing in the way of true love. We charge the client a small conversion fee (it’s no more than they’d pay a regular recruiter), but will give you our blessings for a long, happy life together.

If you’re honored but don’t want to accept, we’ll work out a plan together, run the appropriate interference with the client, and find other FLEX opportunities for you.

Do FLEX attorneys keep track of their time?

Yes, but we swear it’s really easy!

Once you start an assignment, we’ll show you how to log in to our portal where you’ll enter the total number of hours you worked on a weekly basis. No need to memorize client numbers or enter long descriptions of your tasks!

Can I work remotely?

Like the answer to many legal questions… it depends.

Typically, you’ll spend some time onsite initially to get to know the client. After the first few weeks, if you’re on an engagement with a small time commitment (such as 20 hours per month), you’ll likely work remotely most of the time.

If you’re working several days per week or full-time, you’ll mostly likely be working onsite at least a portion of the time. If working remotely is important to you, let us know so we can prioritize finding assignments that match your preference.