Recently, I was talking to some law students who will be graduating next spring about their job search. They expressed concerns regarding finding a job upon graduation, studying and passing the bar, and paying back student loans. I was thinking back to when I graduated law school (which wasn't that long ago) with those some concerns. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was also looking for the job. He ended up doing some temporary legal work with a company called Hire Counsel. It pays decently, but the work isn't terribly interesting. I know its not the best solution, but it did offer my husband with something substantive to do while looking for a full time position. We have friend who live in DC where there are many more opportunities for contact work for attorneys and if you can speak a second language, it might help you secure a position. Be prepared for boring tasks, long hours, but plenty of dough. (not big firm dough, but enough to live off of anyway) To apply for this kind of work, you have to pass the bar in your state.
Contract work is a good temporary solution, but some worry that if they do it for too long, they'll be unmarketable for other legal positions. Check out this blog post from lateralattorney report.com related to the subject. So if you're ultimate goal is to do anything but contract work for a living, keep pushing out those resumes and go ahead and put that contract work on your resume and highlight skills that your potential employer would benefit from.
I guess some attorneys do contract work to make a living. Check out this ABA article.
P.S. My husband now has a full-time job, no more contract work for him :)