Directories come in all shapes and sizes.
While not a legal directory per se, a (relatively) new kid on the block is Legal Monitor – a subscription-based service that enables you to search for lawyers using a clever filtering system.
I recently met with one of the site’s founders, David Keckwick, who walked me through some of the features of its “Legal Intelligence” product.
The product was borne out of a belief that much of the information out there about lawyers and law firms is incomplete or dated, and therefore aims to provide users with an up-to-date picture of which lawyers are at which firms and what they’re doing.
Legal Monitor dos this by using algorithms to trawl through law firm websites – usually the most current source of lawyer info – picking up the details of all the listed lawyers and their various specialisms.
The site holds records on 48,000 partners, 51,000 associates and 130,000 fee earners at 208 global law firms.
You can then search for lawyers using combinations of practice, industry, and keyword specialisms, say language or bar admission, or a type of transaction structure – basically all the attributes of that lawyer that are listed on their web bio, and then tagged on to the Legal Monitor system.
All records can be searched by 30 industry categorisations and 100 practice areas.
So you could search for a capital markets lawyer based in the UK who has done bond issues in Nigeria, or an IP lawyer in New York with knowledge of Latin American trademarks.
Once you’ve found a lawyer, Legal Monitor provides a link through to their official firm web page, plus lists various other bits of information about them, such as any legal directory write-ups, press coverage, and their LinkedIn profile.
At the moment, Legal Monitor is sold to law firms, legal recruiters, and in-house legal departments, who pay a subscription fee to access to the site.
Legal Monitor has the look and feel of an insider’s product – a piece of software aimed at those already in the business with a basic knowledge of what they’re looking for, but seeking further nuance — rather than a product intended to be used publicly.
But the underlying technology is about solving the same issue that legal directories try to solve – which lawyers have the right skills for me? – particularly in a fluid global legal market where specialization is highly prized.
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