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Like 'Craigslist for Lawyers'

The American Lawyer interviews Laurel Edgeworth, a lawyer and creator of a new Web site that's bound to be a hit with recently unemployed lawyers as well as new grads who can't find jobs: Law Clerk Connection. Working as a law clerk at a small firm during law school, Edgeworth noticed that her firm would sporadically need to staff up for document review within a tight time frame. Enter Law Clerk Connection, where unemployed lawyers and law students pay a small membership fee to upload a profile to the site and view jobs posted by potential employers. Participants can bid on a project, offering a price and time frame for completion.

The Law Clerk Connection site is intended to allow for placement of short-term, discrete tasks like drafting, document production and legal research. The site will also provide networking opportunities for participants. Edgeworth explains that two factors set her site apart from other placement or contract sites. First, Legal Clerk Connection is an entirely on-shore operation; projects are not sent overseas. Second, Law Clerk Connection seems aimed at smaller projects rather than large document review matters.

Right now, the site generates revenue through membership fees for law clerks. But ultimately the company intends to charge fees based on a small percentage of each project from the lawyers' side.

As a small-firm lawyer myself, I can't say whether I'd use the Law Clerk Connection site, though it sounds like a good idea. But typically, when I have small projects to outsource I'll go to Craigslist, while for more serious matters that demand top skills, I prefer personal referrals. The Law Clerk Connection site might be useful for situations where I can't find referrals, particularly if it incorporated a rating system that allowed hiring lawyers to comment on the quality of the work product provided.

Is this a service that you would use? Post your comments below.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on April 1, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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