From the late 1980s to mid-2000s, Cornell Law School professor Charles Kenji “Chuck” Whitehead was steeped in BigLaw securities and deals work. He also had top leadership positions as a hybrid banker and a lawyer in big finance companies involved in venture capital and securities.
Ryan Alshak and some friends developed a great app for electronic devices to exchange digital profiles rather than business-card information over Bluetooth connections. But no one was going to beat down any doors to get it.
For Joshua Browder, necessity really is the mother of invention. The 20-year-old London native is a self-described terrible driver who took action on his ton of traffic tickets while driving to and from high school.
“I’d get huge tickets, and I wouldn’t be able to pay them because I didn’t have a job,” Browder says. “I had to figure out a way to solve my problems legally."
John Tredennick started a focus on legal technology in 1988—back when law firms saw it as something limited to fancy computers and adding machines. He asked Holland & Hart, the Denver-based firm where he was a partner, to add the words chief information officer to his title. Inspiration came from an American Bar Association conference.
Matthew Stubenberg’s legal career is shaped by the Great Recession. In 2010, he started law school at the University of Maryland, where he “fell in love with criminal defense.” However, upon graduation in 2013, the legal market was still recovering, and he was without a job. That was when Stubenberg learned how to code.
It can be hard to feel too sorry for the lawyer reduced to a stammering mess when an opposing lawyer or judge brings up a precedent the lawyer wasn’t ready for. After all, these kinds of predicaments can be easily avoided with some proper legal research, right?