Meet Lawmatch CEO Neal Rechtman

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Neal Rechtman, Founder and CEO of legal job search site Lawmatch

Learn more about founder and CEO of Lawmatch.com- his take on the legal employment scene, his favorite Supreme Court Justice, and why his favorite legal book is a moving target…

What made you decide to create Lawmatch?

In 1995, when the Internet first came on the scene, I had already been in the personnel business (temporary staffing, employment agency) in New York City for fifteen years – with a customer base consisting primarily of law firms.  I got bitten by the internet bug really bad – very high fever, hallucinations, the whole metaphorical thing – and by 1996 had launched the first dedicated legal employment Web site on the internet: www.lawmatch.com.  At the time I thought that resume banks would come to replace recruitment advertising as the preferred recruitment methodology (cf. this article from 1997 in NYC’s Metropolitan Corporate Counsel) so when we started out our resume bank was the primary focus of our business.  Since that time we’ve gone through at least four different business models, the latest one embodied in our current Web site.

Do you see the legal job market picking up?

It’s all relative.  There’s a lot more activity than there was in March of 2009, but it’s nowhere near pre-2008 levels, and in my view will not return to that level.  The marketplace is structurally different than it was pre-2008, and even if/when the economy recovers, I’m hard pressed to think that employers will revert to their old ways.  The key structural change is institutionally embedded: there are simply far more lawyers being graduated than there are jobs for lawyers.  But that’s a whole other story….

Who is your idol/role model?

Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice

If you could be any figure in history, who would you be and why?

Louis Brandeis.  Lived an incredible lifespan – young enough to remember the Civil War, alive when World War II began – and had a far greater positive impact on far more people than any almost any other individual in modern times (at least in the Western world).

What is your favorite legal book?

The Talmud.  (Just kidding)

My favorite legal book is a moving target.  Most recently I zipped through the “Oral Arguments of Clarence Thomas 2006-2011”, but before that I devoted at least a month to the fantastic “Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech” by law professor Cass Sunstein.

What Law Firms do you admire?

I think this must be the first time I’ve ever seen the terms “Law Firm” and “admire” appear together in the same sentence.  It’s not a trend that I am in any way prepared to encourage.

What’s your favorite legal quote?

“Book ‘em, Danno.”

If you’re under the age of 45, you won’t recognize that quote, so here’s one that’s more classic:

“The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone—the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”

Louis Brandeis, Dissenting Opinion, Olmstead v. United States, USSC 1928

Any future plans for Lawmatch?

We are constantly innovating, trying new things, new approaches, new venues.  Our current focus is on improving our SEO visibility and raising our profile at key law schools.

What Occupies you Outside of Lawmatch?

I’m an author and Open Source Democracy Advocate.  My recent novel (2008), The 28th Amendment,” explores the potential for conflict between entertainment and politics in a media-defined age.  For more about Open Source Democracy, visit www.ioparty.com.

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