Freelance legal work offers new possibilities for corporate attorneys interested in a more flexible career path.
Ontra supports law firms across the globe
Ontra serves its customers in the private markets by offering advanced contract management technology coupled with a highly trained global legal network. Ex-Big Law lawyers and those with private equity and corporate law experience comprise a large portion of Ontra’s network. These contract lawyers handle negotiations for high-volume, routine contracts, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), non-reliance letters, joinders, and vendor contracts.
Through this legal network, Ontra supports hundreds of small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing them with advanced technology, handling their back office processes, and enabling them to scale up and down as needed.
Ontra’s diverse legal network
Ontra’s legal network includes over 350 small businesses, most of which are solo practitioners or boutique law firms. These lawyers are spread across 30 countries and are licensed to practice in over 50 jurisdictions. They serve clients in North America; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); Asia Pacific (APAC); and Latin America.
As a whole, the legal industry struggles to foster diversity. However, Ontra’s model of partnering with contract lawyers enables more individuals to start and grow their law firms and other businesses. For example, women own over 50% of Ontra’s partner law firms, underrepresented ethnic groups own 36%, and LGTBQ+ individuals own 11%.
Ontra mitigates the stress of running a small business
The only way to give freelance lawyers freedom and flexibility is to mitigate common stressors, like accounts receivable. Ontra has done away with billing in 6-minute increments and handles invoicing and collections for its legal partners. Our contract lawyers simply receive timely payments, ensuring they have the cash flow necessary to sustain and grow their businesses.
The rigidity of a traditional desk job forces lawyers to pursue other endeavors on evenings and weekends and put off traveling. Ontra rejects this approach by offering an exclusively remote legal platform with flexible client engagements. Lawyers have control of their schedules, giving them the option to create virtual practices, travel frequently, and fit hobbies and family into their daily lives.
Solo practitioners and small law firms often struggle to find the time for business development.
Our legal partners get the chance to work with blue-chip companies while building careers outside of Big Law. We also enable them to request additional work without the responsibility to research, pitch, and land big-name clients.
Additionally, Ontra’s legal network supports and fosters collaboration and networking among its hundreds of members, letting lawyers build strong referral networks of experienced colleagues without navigating internal office politics.
Ontra helps law firms grow
Many of Ontra’s contract lawyers want to grow their small businesses by hiring associates, paralegals, law clerks, and other staff. However, scaling a law firm is challenging when the founders are entirely responsible for marketing and business development on top of their client work.
Ontra’s platform lets lawyers take on as much work as they prefer without hours of business development. They can easily request to scale their workload up or down as needed.
Ontra helps lawyers gain new skills that they can use to expand their firms. We offer a membership to a continuing legal education (CLE) provider; internal, custom-built training courses and coaching; and quarterly webinars and newsletters with practice resources, tech tips, and opportunities to promote their businesses within the network.
We also have a formal mentor program, through which we match solo practitioners with other in-network legal professionals to discuss how to best serve clients and grow their businesses.
All these features have empowered more than one of our legal partners, like Meli Sandén, to hire paralegals, which in turn, enables them to take on more client engagements with or outside of Ontra.
Ontra is at the forefront of legal tech
Advanced technology is the heart of how Ontra gives employees and legal partners freedom in their careers.
Ontra’s Document Processing platform is a SaaS solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to drive contract automation. The AI technology supports the contract review process by leveraging precedent and helpful insights during real-time negotiations. Other features in the platform, including visibility into contract status, notifications, and an eSignature integration with DocuSign, make the entire process from the first turn to execution faster and more efficient.
We also give our legal partners access to Documate, a leading contract workflow automation tool, to use in their practices. Ontra’s freelance lawyers receive a discounted member rate to Documate, through which they can build custom apps for their private practice clients and reduce contract drafting time by 90%.
Ontra helps lawyers thrive
Partnering with Ontra enables solo practitioners and small law firms to grow a thriving, sustainable law practice that employs others. Lawyers have the freedom to choose their clients and workloads. Those looking to scale their practice can maintain a heavier workload, and the steady cash flow enables them to bring on paralegals, associates, and other staff.
A goal of Ontra is to provide lawyers with more freedom. While our legal partners are passionate about practicing law, they’re complex individuals with goals, dreams, and demands on their time apart from their legal careers. Our network helps these freelance lawyers explore other endeavors, such as creative writing, caretaking for dependents, or launching a new business venture.
Ontra’s legal partners include winemakers, startup founders, mental health professionals, nonprofit organizers, and children’s book authors. One in-network lawyer raised enough capital through her partnership with Ontra to launch a retail fashion line, while another became a registered doula and now assists with home births. Still another legal partner, Mario Christodoulou, is using his transition to working with Ontra to retrain in psychology.
Learn about becoming a freelance lawyer with Ontra
Ontra’s VP of Legal Partnerships Sara Eng talks about how she became the “lawyer whisperer” and helps the company’s vast and varied legal network live the way they want to live.
Learn how Mario Christodoulou, a lawyer based in London, has partnered with Ontra to support a career shift.
Explore how Lisa Fitzgerald became an Ontra legal partner and is able to support her family while continuing her restorative justice work.