When things get busy enough to require additional help with legal work, a sole practitioner may wish to hire a contract attorney rather than a full-time associate. This will give the sole practitioner a chance to get to know the contract attorney and become familiar with his or her work. If a good fit, the sole practitioner could continue working on other projects with the contract attorney and potentially hire him or her. If not a good fit, the sole practitioner can always end the relationship at the conclusion of the project.
In addition to or in lieu of hiring a contract attorney, a San Francisco-based sole practitioner may consider taking on a law student intern. Students at San Francisco-based law schools (UC Hastings College of the Law, University of San Francisco Law School and Golden Gate University Law School) are based here year-round, while many students at law schools in and around the Bay Area (UC Berkeley Law School, Stanford Law School, Santa Clara Law School, UC Davis Law School and McGeorge Law School) look for summer internships in San Francisco. For more information, contact the schools’ offices of career services.
Finally, I believe there is at least one paralegal school in the Bay Area that requires its students to complete an internship. Thus, there may be opportunities for additional paralegal help at no cost.