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Online jobs marketplace LexStep launched to demystify legal recruitment

Two Magic Circle lawyers have left their legal careers at Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters to launch online recruitment marketplace LexStep, after finding the recruitment process for lawyers seriously wanting.

Associates Michael Hagai from A&O and Alexander Isaacs from Linklaters formally launched LexStep in October and already list Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills among the US, UK and international firms to offer their jobs on the site.

LexStep enables lawyers to create a profile on the site listing their legal qualifications and the practice areas they want to work in as well as the locations where they are willing to be based.

Two Magic Circle lawyers have left their legal careers at Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters to launch online recruitment marketplace LexStep, after finding the recruitment process for lawyers seriously wanting.

Corporate associate Michael Hagai from A&O and litigation associate Alexander Isaacs from Linklaters formally launched LexStep in October and already list Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills among the US, UK and international firms to offer their jobs on the site.

LexStep enables lawyers to create a profile by listing their legal qualifications and the practice areas they want to work in as well as the locations where they are willing to be based.

After entering either their Solicitors Regulation Authority identification or connecting to LinkedIn to show who they are, lawyers will then be able to see jobs and law firms relevant to those practice areas.

Hagai told Legal IT Insider: “Candidates are in control of who they choose to connect with and if they don’t want a firm to see their profile they can remain invisible. The lawyer’s current employer is automatically blocked from seeing that they have signed up.”

Isaacs added: “There is none of the generic ‘leading City law firm seeks a finance lawyer’ for a position that may or may not exist. On LexStep, relevant roles are organised by firm name and lawyers can read a detailed description in their own time written by the law firm itself.”

The pair launched LexStep after personally experiencing and hearing recruitment horror stories from friends, including one instance of a lawyer being cold called for an identical job at their own firm.

Hagai said: “Our friends have had their CVs edited by recruiters, with content being re-arranged and missed off in order that the agency can fit in their logo. Candidates are not just a commodity and should have the freedom to write and present their story however they like.

“Agents, who are acting on behalf of their clients – the law firms – are fundamentally conflicted and don’t always have the candidate’s best interests at heart.”

The site is free for lawyers and law firms to sign up to and charges law firms a percentage of a lawyer’s first year salary as commission. It caters for lawyers in all practice areas at all PQE levels, including trainees exploring their options on qualification, PSLs and senior lawyers interested in partnership opportunities.

Listed lawyers will be assigned a consultant to assist them with their job search, including proof reading their profile and offering advice on the market but they are not obliged to take advantage of this service.

Isaacs said: “We’re trying to demystify and bring some long needed transparency to the legal recruitment process.

“Firms realise that the best lawyers are no longer responding to cold calls from recruitment agents.”

7 replies on “Online jobs marketplace LexStep launched to demystify legal recruitment”

I can’t help but feel the two creators have missed the real reasons lawyers turn to agents (exclusive relationships, inside information, etc.) and so I cannot imagine any agencies losing sleep over this. Ultimately, for this service to become effective, it will become an agency; and, if it doesn’t, then it’s hard to see how, at best, it won’t simply become another jobs board. Having no agency experience myself perhaps I’m wrong but I suspect both would have benefited from spending some time on the ‘dark side’, as they see it.

looks like a solid idea as they already have top law firms signed up and offers lawyers a welcomed lump sum payment if successful – also looks very transparent which most agencies are not.

The reason solicitors use agencies is for the personal touch and in-depth knowledge of team and Partner dynamics. From experience, people do not look for jobs just based on name, but on team feel and firm culture and fit which a job board would simply not know. I can’t see how this would catch up – just like a typical job board with a bribe attached. Something is clearly wrong with this if they have to offer money for people to use them.

After I signed up I received a very nice welcome email from one of the founders who put me in touch directly with the firm I was interested in for a confidential chat. This is clearly revolutionary and very different from a job board. And as far as I’m concerned, I would much rather receive £2,500 instead of it going into the hands of a shady recruiter who claims to have in depth knowledge of a team they’ve never worked in themselves.

How unprofessional to use the term ‘shady recruiter’. Did you know how often recruiters have to deal with ‘shady candidates’ who yes, are actually Lawyers. Never tarnish an industry by your petty dislike to recruiters that probably makes 4 x times more money than you can ever imagine.

This new service on offer is just another money making commercial scheme, quote “charges law firms a percentage of a lawyer’s first year salary as commission” so let’s not all think this is a charitable born again Christian approach, it’s a way for them to make money and to knock the global billion dollar recruitment industry and how do you knock an industry, by slagging them off!. Maybe the reason why you have not been successful with a recruiter finding you a role is perhaps because you are not very good at what you do? #YAWN

Looks very similar to laterally.com – a U.S. based company.

technology is cited as one of the key drivers to change in the legal market place – howsoever that arises (see an in depth research analysis on the law soc website). We should embrace this new channel and wish the founders well. If you read the lawyer’s article in full, you will see that they do NOT in fact “slag” off all recruiters – just the less scrupulous ones. I think their innovation should be applauded and wish them well. I do not envisage legal recruitment services diminishing any time soon, but recruiters do need to move with the times and innovate. Good luck

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