Pros: can meet contacts for freelance work
Cons: can fall victim to abusive and manipulative clients
Be prepared to get taken for the nastiest, bitterest ride of your life. The "milestone system" allows clients to nickel and dime free services from you at will. Then, they can fake dissatisfaction and get their money back.
It's a rotten system. However, if you meet someone there, no one can stop you from taking the relationship outside the system. – more... This is what I recommend. Elance will NOT back you up in any way at any time and will even stop you from closing your account.
Total nightmare, but if you are careful, you can make some good contacts. ALSO- beware of signing NDAs, then being scammed into free advice. This happens about 3x as often a "paying job" -- which could come back to haunt you in more ways than I can count. – less