Friday, May 05, 2006
More People Seem to '"Get It" Than Ever Before
I have noticed in the past few months (and especially in the past few weeks) that many more of the candidates applying to Exemplar really "get it" and are in a position to take the plunge! Over the past year and a half we have received more than 600 applicants. About half of them were just looking for jobs. We ended up speaking with about 300 of them, half of which were risk tolerant enough to meet for in-person interviews. Only half of those had social skills (that brings us to 75), and only half of those had ambition (37.5). About half of that group had business sense (18.75) and of the rest only half were humble enough to roll up their sleeves and build a firm. We are now 9 and growing about 1 per month and I have noticed a dramatic increase in both the number and percentage of applicants who really "get it!" We had our first Fortune 50 in-house counsel apply to our firm this week and will be flying in to meet with us. From being in-house and knowing how attractive fixed-priced offerings are, he had a unique niche that he believed would do well on a fixed-price model and contacted us. As usual, I will be interviewing about 6-7 people next week to see if there are any leaders among them, but the moral of this story is that visibility has increased and with it comes a higher comfort level that we will be successful. One of the most rewarding life experiences has been speaking with several hundred attorneys and learning about how you view your industy; your dreams; your gripes with the billable hour model; and your interest in a better way of doing business. Most attorneys I know are not happy. The opportunity to build a firm that can be a win for the attorneys by creating a great work environment and at the same time be a win for clients who are endlessly disappointed with law firm service and billable hours is what drives me to get up every day and do what I do. People who think Exemplar is about a pricing model have missed the point. Exemplar is about changing lives. . . one by one. . . until we're all done!