From the Latin, per diem means “for each day” or “a daily allowance or payment.” A per diem attorney is one with a day or by-the-day rate. A per diem lawyer may help a law firm handle its caseload, taking on extra work, conflicts in scheduling, or emergencies; or help a firm prioritize existing work.
Legal Pinch Hitters and Relief Pitchers
You can think of per diem attorneys in baseball terms. In baseball, a pinch hitter takes another player’s place at bat. A relief pitcher comes into the game in place of the previous pitcher. Attorneys who practice per diem are the pinch hitters and relief pitchers of the legal profession. When another attorney is not available or the firm is swamped, the per diems step up. They are the legal equivalents of ball players like Mark Sweeney, Manny Mota, or Goose Gossage. They’re there to save the day.
Other Benefits of Per Diems
For firms needing a per diem attorney, New York has professionals who take on the work that other lawyers don’t want. They use their own resources and not those of the firm hiring them, and they won’t occupy space in the firm’s office. They’re a cost-effective solution for a firm that’s in a crunch.
More Facts About Per Diems
As with hiring any professionals, there are some things to keep in mind about per diems. Personalities matter; hire someone that you know you and others like. Experience is a must, the more specific and relevant, the better. The best practice of all is hiring someone you know. That way there’s less chance of surprises.
A good per diem attorney is like that player you bring into a ball game to turn a game around at a critical point. Have one on your team for the “win.”