Our Recruiting Process

We appreciate your interest in Culhane and we’re excited about getting to know you!

Many lateral candidates voice frustration at the general lack of transparency during the recruiting and interviewing process with traditional law firms. In case you haven’t noticed, we like to disrupt the status quo and do things differently! Our core values are Collaboration, Transparency, Diversity, Innovation, and Integrity – and we work diligently to apply them to everything we do, including our recruiting process.

Whether you’ve spent your entire career at Big Law or you’ve been on your own for a while now, migrating your practice and clients to a new firm can be intimidating. We aim to make the entire recruiting and interviewing process transparent and streamlined as possible. Depending on each candidate’s circumstances and desired timeframe, we can usually move candidates through our process as quickly (10-14 days) or slowly (4-6 weeks) as needed. Sometimes we might deviate from the usual steps or do things in a slightly different order, but the following general outline will help you know what to expect during our recruiting process. Most importantly, we view this as a two-way process and we always encourage and welcome candidates to ask questions as they evaluate whether Culhane is a good fit for them and their practice.

If you have any questions along the way, please contact the Culhane attorney who is recruiting you or send an email to recruiting@cm.law.

Most candidates learn about Culhane from our current partners or through professional recruiters. In those cases, the candidates generally have a brief intro conversation with one of the firm’s current partners or a member of our Leadership Team to learn basic information about our non-traditional and cloud-based business model. Sometimes, however, candidates learn about our firm through an online job posting or the Culhane website, in which case they might jump straight to Step 2 and then the intro conversation is scheduled for a later date.

This involves clicking on the big red button on our Careers page and following the prompts until the application and mutual NDA have been completed and submitted.

To ensure that we provide our clients with the sophisticated representation they are accustomed to from Big Law, each candidate should –

  • Have 8+ years of experience in the practice of law – including practice at an AmLaw 200 firm or, in some exceptional cases, in-house with a large corporation or at a nationally-known boutique (e.g., a mid-size patent firm with a respected national reputation among patent practitioners);
  • Have a strong educational background (ideally, this means a Tier 1 Law School);
  • Have an established book of portable business that will enable recruit to be financially successful upon joining the firm; and
  • Be in good standing with all state licensing agencies (e.g., the state bar in each state where the candidate is licensed).

As part of our commitment to transparency and collaboration, once a candidate has formally applied to join Culhane, we confidentially inform our current partners of the candidate’s name, background experience, and practice areas. This allows our partners an opportunity to speak up if they know the candidate personally or professionally, or have any relevant insights or potential synergies they wish to share about the candidate.

We believe it’s essential for due diligence to occur in both directions during the recruiting process. That’s why we created our online Recruiting Portal where the candidate will find a wealth of information about our firm, including our Operating/Partnership Agreement, Partner Handbook, Recruiting Brochure (including a detailed explanation of our compensation formula with a worksheet where you can estimate your compensation under the Culhane system), sample web-based forms such as those we use for Conflict Checks and opening New Client Matters, plus more information to give you a better idea about our day to day operations. To give insight into our great culture, we’ve posted a series of informative videos where you can hear many of our partners talk about their own experiences at the firm and answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from candidates.

For obvious reasons, it’s essential to identify and work through potential conflicts between the candidate’s client base and the firm’s current clients. We accomplish this by asking candidates to complete and return our Preliminary Conflict Check spreadsheet so that our Admin team can run the list against the firm’s database.  We also ask candidates to complete our lateral Candidate Information Request (CIR) form, which helps us identify any issues that may require further discussion during the interviewing phase. These forms are available from Culhane’s recruiting coordinator at recruiting@cm.law

As a general rule, we require candidates to interview with at least 2 members of our Leadership Team, and at least one of those interviews should occur live and in person. Additionally, we like candidates to speak with at least 2 or 3 other partners, typically selected based on either geographic market proximity or common practice area synergies with the candidate. We prefer in-person interviews (often over lunch or coffee) as much as possible but when necessary we can use video conferencing. These meetings will typically be arranged by the partner recruiting the candidate to Culhane or by the Leadership Team member who is guiding the candidate through this process. Occasionally, depending on the candidate’s residence, it makes sense for the candidate to travel to one of our larger markets to meet with multiple partners at the same time.

We will prepare and send a formal offer letter to the candidate via email, which serves as the Membership Agreement for them to become part of Culhane. The candidate reviews, countersigns and returns the acceptance paperwork, which officially triggers the start of our new partner onboarding process. Our Admin team and COO will next follow up with the candidate to provide the foundation and information necessary for the candidate to hit the ground running when he/she officially becomes a member of the firm and begins work on the start date as specified in the offer letter. If the candidate was recruited by another partner of Culhane, that recruiter will serve as the candidate’s firm mentor and first point of contact during the onboarding process and beyond. We also provide tons of additional helpful onboarding information in our internal Culhane Grid (new partners receive access to this content on their official start date). Of course, our entire Leadership Team remains available and ready to assist new partners as they adjust to Culhane and the flexibility that comes with practicing law in the cloud!

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