Getting It Right – from the beginningSeptember 1, 2023
Midlevels Increasingly Frustrated with Biglaw CultureSeptember 22, 2023
“My passion is building businesses and developing talent. My goal is to build LawCareer around my belief that life is relational and that getting people in the right environment is essential for success.”
Veronica: What inspired you to start LawCareer?
Michael: LawCareer was created because I saw that great law firms have great cultures and defined hiring criteria. I saw it firsthand. My father, Paul Connolly, was co-founder of the law firm Williams and Connolly, still recognized as one of the world’s premier litigation firms. He died when I was young. My son, Paul, named after my dad, died in a snowboarding accident up in Canada.
I dedicated LawCareer to the memories of my father and son.
I was also motivated by seeing great talent not being developed by law firms. This led me to think about how technology and the business of law could be improved. I wanted to develop a method where clients can be better served, law firms can be more successful, and lateral associates could thrive.
Veronica: How did your company’s slogan “Life is Relational” come to be?
Michael: I found that success and happiness comes from great relationships. And by far the most common way people get jobs is from relationships not through resume blasts.
Successful people have had a teacher, a coach, or a mentor that inspired them to perform better academically, athletically, or what have you. Good mentors can motivate you to overcome weaknesses or development needs.
Young lawyers need development. They need mentors. But too often I saw young lawyers that were disillusioned. Early in their career lawyers sometimes find themselves in the wrong practice group, or law firm.
Wasting talent is a terrible thing to observe. I believe this problem can be solved. I knew I needed help and that’s when I went to talk to my dear friend Nach.
Veronica: Who is Nach and how did you work together to start LawCareer?
Michael: I have known Nach for over 10 years and worked together on various projects. He is a technologist and data scientist. He lives in San Francisco and has been involved in a number of successful SaaS companies. After I shared my thoughts with him, Nach said, “I see the same problem and I think there is a way to use artificial intelligence and graph databases to connect the right talent with the right people in a particular law firm.”
Veronica: What sets your company apart from others in the same industry or market?
Michael: Nach and I built a platform that took all the lawyers in the United States and saw the relationships they had with other lawyers from other law firms. We worked to use this database in tandem with psychometrics, behavioral profiles, and other relational features to get the right lawyers in the right practice groups with the right law firms. Our database has over 450,000 lawyers with 7.2 million ways that these lawyers relate to each other.
Veronica: Why does it matter to get the right lawyer with the right practice group?
Michael: LawCareer was founded because great firms have great cultures and are great developers of people. (McKinsey & Company comes to mind.) Getting the right lawyers with the right practice group improves overall client satisfaction. Taking time to get the right hire leads to higher retention rates and loyal associates lead to happier law firms.
Veronica: What tools does LawCareer use?
Michael: Besides describing how candidates relate to the hiring firm, we provide:
robust profiles, structured interview guides, relational considerations between law firms and candidates, information on candidates’ culture fit, information about the behavioral fit against the ideal candidate profile, and the ability to track the progress of the candidate throughout the hiring process.
It’s exciting to see how law firms and search firms are using LawCareer.
This interview was conducted by LawCareer intern, Veronica. If you’d like to learn more about LawCareer contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d be happy to answer your questions and show you how LawCareer can help you!