In October, Allen & Overy’s flexible resourcing platform Peerpoint launched in the U.S. Following on from the news, Lawyer Monthly speaks to Amie Davidson, Head of Peerpoint U.S, about how A&O’s flexible resourcing platform works, where the idea originated from, and how the pandemic has allowed people time to reflect on their careers.
Would you mind telling Lawyer Monthly a little more about what Peerpoint is and how it works?
Peerpoint is a leading global flexible resourcing platform for high-quality lawyers. We connect the best lawyers with world-leading organisations on an interim or project basis. With the support, guidance and resources of the global law firm Allen & Overy behind us, we give top-tier legal talent and our clients more choice, more control and greater flexibility.
Where did the idea for Peerpoint originate from?
Peerpoint has been going since 2013 when we set up in the UK. It was originally conceived because we saw a gap in the market whereby, traditionally, there had been two paths for lawyers who wanted to continue to practice law – they’d either stay with a law firm and move up the ranks. Or, alternatively, there’s the in-house route where, after a few years in private practice, a lawyer may move in-house and take up a role within an in-house legal team and one day perhaps make General Counsel and lead a large in-house legal team.
We realised that there was a demand from lawyers to do something different. At that point, a lot of lawyers who said they didn’t want to take one of those two paths tended to leave the profession. We thought that there has to be a way to retain people in the profession, but give them another alternative. Peerpoint was devised as a way to help people expand their careers and build on their portfolio of experience in their own self-directed way, outside of the parameters of these two traditional routes.
Do you think the pandemic has encouraged an increasing number of lawyers and legal professionals down alternative career paths?
I don’t know if it’s encouraged them down a particular path, but I do think that the pandemic has given a lot of people time to reflect and to pause and consider what they’re doing with their lives, what they want to do with their lives, both in and out of a work perspective. I think that, naturally, that has led to a lot of people realising that perhaps they want to take a break from what they’re currently doing or they want to pursue a slightly different career path. That’s where we’re hoping that Peerpoint can provide them with that platform to do so.