Our Recruiting Process

We appreciate your interest in Culhane Meadows 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, 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 CM is a good fit for them and their practice.

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

Step 1. Introductory Conversation.

Most candidates learn about CM 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 CM through an online job posting or the CM website, in which case they might jump straight to Step 2 and then the intro conversation is scheduled for a later date.

Step 2. Candidate is invited to complete our online Partner Candidate Application/NDA.

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

Step 3. We confirm the Candidate meets CM’s Minimum Hiring Criteria.

To ensure that we provide our clients with the sophisticated representation they are accustomed to from Big Law, each CM 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).


Step 4. We circulate an ‘All-Attorneys’ email to confidentially inform our Partners about the Candidate.

As part of our commitment to transparency and collaboration, once a candidate has formally applied to join CM, 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.

Step 5. We grant the Candidate access to our full online Recruiting Portal. 

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 CM 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.

Step 6. Candidate completes the Preliminary Conflict Check spreadsheet and the Candidate Info Request (CIR) form.

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 CM’s recruiting coordinator.

Step 7. Interviews and Meet-and-Greets.

By the time candidates reach our interviewing phase, our hope is that they have carefully reviewed our online materials in the Recruiting Portal so they understand how our compensation model is structured and they are comfortable with the basic operations of our firm’s non-traditional business model (e.g., we push the vast majority of collections to our partners, no firm-paid office space, partners buy their own computers, partners set their own billing rates and schedules, partners can obtain a la carte support services as needed).

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 CM 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.

It’s important to us that candidates have ample time an opportunity to gather sufficient information to make the most informed decision possible about joining CM. Thus if candidates ever desire to speak with even more partners at CM as part of their due diligence of us, we’re happy to facilitate additional introductions for further interviews.

At the conclusion of the interviewing phase, assuming there is continued mutual interest, we will ascertain the candidate’s preferred start date to become a member of Culhane Meadows in order to prepare a formal offer letter.

Step 8. CM sends formal Offer to the Candidate.

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 CM. The candidate reviews, countersigns and returns the acceptance paperwork, which officially triggers the start of our new partner onboarding process. Our Admin team and CIO 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 CM, that recruiter will serve as the candidate’s CM mentor and first point of contact during the onboarding process and beyond. We also provide tons of additional helpful onboarding information in our Partner Portal (new partners receive access to this content on their official start date at CM). Of course, our entire Leadership Team remains available and ready to assist new partners as they adjust to CM and the flexibility that comes with practicing law in the cloud!

*Culhane Meadows is ranked by U.S. News/Best Law Firms in Technology Law, Bankruptcy/Reorganization Law, and Information Technology Law. This website and the communications herein may be considered attorney advertising. Previous results are not a guarantee of future outcome. This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information herein is not intended to create an attorney-client or similar relationship. Until you establish such a relationship and receive an engagement letter, you have not hired a Culhane Meadows attorney nor become a client of the firm. Whether you are a new or existing client of the firm, Culhane Meadows must determine that there is no conflict of interest and that it is willing and otherwise able to accept the new engagement before representing you on a new matter. Only if and after Culhane Meadows has informed you it is willing and able to accept your new matter should you send the firm any information or documents that you consider private or confidential. Such information will not be treated as private, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure until Culhane Meadows has communicated in writing that it is willing and able to accept your new matter and provide you with legal counsel. Whether you need legal services and which lawyer or law firm you select are important decisions that should not be based on this website alone.

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