May 21, 2020 – Legal recruiting continues to be a hot area for search firms. Lawyers employed by government agencies in particular have been on the move in recent months, according to Hunt Scanlon Media. Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent through 2022. Demand for legal work is expected to be robust as individuals, businesses and all levels of government require legal services in the U.S. and internationally.
Recently, executive search firm Mlegal Group expanded with the additions of legal recruiter Lauren Drake and former federal prosecutor Rachel Nonaka to its Washington, D.C., office as partner and managing director, respectively. In addition, Jessica Ellinger joined the firm as knowledge manager. “Along with managing partner Jane Roberts, who launched the office last year, the group forms the region’s preeminent legal search team matching senior law firm and government lawyers with top law firms,” Mlegal Group said.
“Lauren is widely regarded as one of the best legal recruiters in D.C., and for good reason,” said Ms. Roberts. “Her uncommon business expertise, deep knowledge of the legal market, and innate knack for not merely placing candidates where they belong but guiding them in their careers will significantly enhance our D.C. practice and the firm more broadly. Rachel, who understands the myriad challenges senior government officials navigate when seeking to make a transition to private practice and can share valuable insight few other recruiters possess, and Jessica round out a team I’m proud and excited to lead.”
Ms. Drake comes to Mlegal from Major, Lindsey & Africa, where she built a legal recruiting career following more than 16 years with management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and several years prior practicing telecommunications law. At her previous firm she headed the Partners Leadership Forum, comprised of the D.C. managing partners of major law firms, and she is a former Washington, D.C. co-chair of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum and its global advisory board. Ms. Drake earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her law degree from the College of William and Mary.
Ms. Nonaka previously served as a federal prosecutor at both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where for more than a decade she investigated and brought white collar securities enforcement actions. She also taught at the Georgetown University Law Center as an adjunct law professor. Ms. Nonaka received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and her law degree from the Villanova University School of Law.
Ms. Ellinger also joins Mlegal from Major, Lindsey & Africa, where she held administrative and finance positions during her four-year tenure. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America.
“Opening our D.C. office last year with a partner of Jane Roberts’ stature and market reputation marked a major milestone for Mlegal,” said Joe Macrae. CEO of the search firm. “Launching in D.C. was the final step in the expansion of Mlegal’s office footprint as we sought to execute on our strategic plan to build market-leading offices in Northern California, New York, London and D.C.”
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“I couldn’t be happier to welcome Lauren, Rachel and Jessica to Mlegal,” he said. “All three are fitting in seamlessly and already making significant contributions not only in D.C. but across our closely integrated network of offices.”
“Mlegal has assembled a highly experienced and sophisticated team of legal recruiters in recent years,” said Ms. Roberts. “The D.C. legal market has become increasingly complex, and we offer top government attorneys seeking to transition to private practice, as well as sought-after lateral candidates and law firms focused on expansion, an in-depth knowledge of the market and sophisticated guidance as they make important career and strategic business changes.”
Founded by Mr. Macrae in 2001, Mlegal began by focusing on law firms based outside of San Francisco and Silicon Valley that were seeking to grow in the region. Today, the firm has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Washington, D.C. It specializes in placing lawyers at corporations and law firms.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media