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New app brings legal employers and job-seekers together

The app has also been funded by angel investors and individual lawyers

A new legal recruitment app that links legal companies and those seeking positions without the need for agencies has had a successful launch period in the UK and has recently started an Australian version to expand its target audience.

Route 1 has the financial backing of Ashfords, a commercial law firm based in the South West, which made the project the first external investment for the company. The app has also been funded by angel investors and individual lawyers.

It launched in the UK five months ago and has already signed up around 50 law companies and thousands of individuals looking for positions in the industry. The aim of Route 1 is to do away with the recruitment agency middlemen, who can add a significant cost and another layer of admin to the process.

Artificial intelligence matches

Instead, lawyers who sign up with the app are matched with jobs that meet their location, specialism and PQE requirements, and they stay anonymous unless they actually decide to submit a job application. The main focus of the app is currently towards associates; however, there are also positions for counsel and paralegals and there has been a partner advert.

Both job hunters and employers can access Route 1 for free and there is only a cost for firms once they successfully hire a candidate. This works out at 5% of the first year’s salary, which is around one-fifth of what a standard recruitment agency would charge.

Law companies have been nervous about direct recruitment in the past, as they don’t want to receive a host of unsuitable applications that take time to wade through; however, the use of artificial intelligence could help to search through CVs and pick out aspect of a candidate’s experience that match specific job criteria and simplify the whole process.

Future growth

The app has been available in the UK since May 2016 and already has a number of high-profile law firms on its database, including DLA Piper, Clifford Chance, Addleshaw Goddard, Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters.

Route 1 also has an Australian base, which is targeting the growing demand amongst UK businesses for high-quality employees from overseas. Other markets that could have potential for Route 1 in the future include Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong, but further investment would be required if it wanted to break into the US.

In October 2016, Route 1 was awarded the lawtech startup award for best marketplace from Thomson Reuters/LegalGeek.

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