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If an in-house legal team is overloaded with work but the business can’t fund extra lawyers, what are the options for GCs? Is the upcoming generation of legal practitioners a valuable, under-used pool of resource?
Sophie Gould talks to Mary Bonsor, CEO and Co-Founder of F-LEX, an online platform connecting law student paralegals with GCs and law firms needing additional resource, about the difference they’re making with their service.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how F-LEX came into being …
I did my GDL and LPC at BPP, then qualified into a law firm. I loved my time as a lawyer as was very lucky to be qualifying into such a great firm, Winckworth Sherwood LLP. We were based next to Kaplan Law School and I would often look out the window at law students and think, I really need some help, if only I could grab them through the window and get them to come and help me do some bundles. And that’s how the idea for F-LEX came about.
I started going to legal tech events, including the first Legal Geek event. I approached one of the speakers, who was an ex-managing partner, and told him I’d got this idea and that I’d love to get his thoughts on it. He said to come back to him in a few weeks with a business plan, which I did. And then he said he’d invest.
I tried to prove the idea before I went back to him by placing four law students into a law firm. I put together some very basic T&Cs and charged a fee, which went straight to the student. I wasn’t making any money, but it was a proof of concept.
Once I’d got the investment, I then met my co-founder, James Moore. He’s a technologist with loads of commercial experience, so we were very lucky to have him. I’m more the client
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Since joining LexisNexis in 2009 Sophie has worked on developing our legal and business content for the in-house legal community. She also runs various networking and mentoring groups for in-house lawyers and works with schools to promote social mobility within the legal profession.
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