Our Legal Team

Make Our Expertise Your Strength

Nobody knows the legal industry—and legal careers—like Special Counsel. Many of our team members are licensed attorneys, and most have held legal positions themselves. Their hands-on experience leads to a deeper understanding of the unique needs of their clients and candidates. When you're ready to make a job change—or just want solid career advice—you can count on their expertise.

Meet Our Legal Recruiters and Business Development Experts

Click on the images below to view our profiles and get to know the people who make us Special Counsel.

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Katie Dougherty - Legal Recruiter

Contact Katie:
225 Broadway, Suite 1150
San Diego, California
619.230.7684
katie.dougherty@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Katie Dougherty

Nicole Sutton - Attorney Recruiter

Contact Nicole:
225 Broadway, Suite 1150
San Diego, California
619.230.7687
nicole.sutton@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Nicole Sutton

Angela Parkinson - Executive Director

Contact Angela:
225 Broadway, Suite 1150
San Diego, California
619.230.7681
angela.parkinson@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Angela Parkinson

Alicia Vargas - Senior Legal Recruiter

Contact Alicia:
225 Broadway, Suite 1150
San Diego, California
619.230.7695
alicia.vargas@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Alicia Vargas

Marya Brancio, Esq. Executive Director

Contact Marya:
1660 Lincoln Street, Suite 2505
Denver, Colorado 80264
303.894.9900
marya.brancio@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Marya Brancio

Chrissie Hendrickson - Regional Search Director

Contact Chrissie:
1920 L Street Northwest, Suite 550
Washington, D.C. 20036
chrissie.hendrickson@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Chrissie Hendrickson

Nondas Davis, Esq. - Regional Search Director

Contact Nondas:
5900 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 420
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33309
954.764.5474
nondas.davis@specialcounsel.com

Elizabeth Cohen, Esq. - Attorney Search Director

Contact Elizabeth:
5900 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 420
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33309
954.712.2329
elizabeth.cohen@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Elizabeth Cohen

Allison Smith, ACP, FRP - Placement Director

Contact Allison:
10201 Centurion Parkway North
Suite 400
Jacksonville, FL 32256
904.360.2349
allison.smith@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Allison Smith

Aida C. Rodriguez - Executive Director

Contact Aida:
801 Brickell Avenue
Suite 600
Miami, Florida 33131
305.374.0977
aidac.rodriguez@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Aida C. Rodriguez

Kara Coffee - Executive Director

Contact Kara:
3455 Peachtree Road Northeast
Suite 110
The Pinnacle Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
404.872.6672
kara.coffee@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Kara Coffee

Virginia Almy - Business Development Director

Contact Virginia:
3455 Peachtree Road Northeast
Suite 110
The Pinnacle Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
404.260.5951
virginia.almy@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Virginia Almy

Zain Atassi, Esq. - Attorney Search Director

Contact Zain:
200 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 700
Chicago, Illinois 60604
312.814.0240
zain.atassi@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: ZainAtassi

Christine E. Hollis - Vice President of Recruitment

Contact Christine:
200 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 700
Chicago, Illinois 60604
312.814.0240
christine.hollis@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Christine E. Hollis

Jesse P. Hyde, Esq. - Attorney Search Director

Contact Jesse:
200 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 700
Chicago, Illinois 60604
312.814.0240
jesse.hyde@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: jessephyde

Julie Rau - Vice President of Business Development

Contact Julie:
200 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 700
Chicago, Illinois 60604
312.814.0240
julie.rau@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Julie Rau

Ellen Berkow Feldman, Esq. - Senior Attorney Search Director

Contact Ellen:
7 Saint Paul Street, Suite 940
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
410.385.5350
ellen.feldman@specialcounsel.com

Marciann Dunnagan, Esq. - Executive Director

Contact Marciann:
20 Custom House Street, Suite 600
Boston, Massachusetts 02110
617.338.7700
marciann.dunnagan@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Marciann Dunnagan

Tiffany Han - Senior Placement Director

Contact Tiffany:
20 Custom House Street, Suite 600
Boston, Massachusetts 02110
617.338.7700
tiffany.fiorentino@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Tiffany Han

DeAnne Brooks - Legal Search Director

Contact DeAnne:
15 South 5th Street, Suite 800
The 15 Building
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
612.340.9068
deanne.brooks@specialcounsel.com

Kirsten Nyhus, Esq. - Attorney Search Director

Contact Kirsten:
15 South 5th Street, Suite 800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612.335.8891
kirsten.nyhus@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: kirstennyhus

Jaime Lawrence, Esq. - Paralegal Search Director

Contact Jaime:
521 5th Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10175
646.557.6768
jaime.lawrence@specialcounsel.com

Patrick Thompson - Junior Placement Director

Contact Patrick:
2626 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 165
Raleigh, North Carolina 27608
919.674.2410
patrick.thompson@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Patrick Thompson

Brian R. Weyhrich, Esq. - Attorney Search Director

Contact Brian:
831 E. Morehead Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
704.338.9200
brian.weyhrich@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Brian Weyhrich

Courtney E. Ziegler, Esq. - Placement Director

Contact Courtney:
2626 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 165
Raleigh, North Carolina 27608
919.674.2410
courtney.ziegler@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Courtney Ziegler

Elizabeth Hamilton, Esq. - Attorney Search Director

Contact Liz:
1300 East 9th Street, Suite 601
Penton Building
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
216.622.2100
elizabeth.hamilton@specialcounsel.com

Allison Minton - Business Development Director

Contact Allison:
250 East Fifth Street
Suite 450
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
513.898.2874
allison.minton@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Allison Minton

Nichole Badger, Esq. - Direct Hire Division Director

Contact Nichole:
1601 Market Street, Suite 1720
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
215.569.0999
nichole.badger@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: nicholebadger

Gerard P. Grandzol - Vice President of Recruitment

Contact Gerard:
1601 Market Street, Suite 1720
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
267.507.2641
gerard.grandzol@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Gerard P. Grandzol

Nicholas Grimm - Attorney Search Director

Contact Nicholas:
437 Grant Street, Suite 1910
Frick Building
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15025
412.201.7470
nicholas.grimm@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: nicholasgrimm
Twitter: @SCINickGrimm

Michael Manfredi - Regional Sales Vice President, Northeast Region

Contact Michael:
1601 Market Street, Suite 1720
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
267.507.2638
michael.manfredi@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Michael Manfredi

Scott Bruce - Vice President and Executive Director

Contact Scott:
1412 Main Street, Suite 700
Adolphus Tower
Dallas, TX 75202
214.698.0200
scott.bruce@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: scottbruce

Amanda C. Ellis, Esq. - Vice President of Search

Contact Amanda:
3102 Oak Lawn, Suite 525
Dallas, Texas 75219
214.775.2662
amanda.ellis@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: amandaellis
Twitter: @aellislegal

Electra T. Harelson - Senior Placement Director

Contact Electra:
1412 Main Street, Suite 700
Adolphus Tower
Dallas, Texas 75202
214.210.2989
electra.harelson@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Electra T. Harelson

Sharon A. McLaughlin, Esq. - Regional Search Director

Contact Sharon:
3900 Essex Lane
Suite 1110
Houston, Texas 77027
713.552.2906
sharon.mclaughlin@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Sharon A. McLaughlin

Rani Spaulding - Executive Director

Contact Rani:
9901 IH 10 West
Suite 750
San Antonio, Texas 78230
210.824.0300
rani.spaulding@specialcounsel.com
LinkedIn: Rani Spaulding

Jennifer Smith - Administrative Coordinator and Junior Recruiter

Contact Jennifer:
9901 IH 10 West
Suite 750
San Antonio, Texas 78230
210.824.0300
jenniferl.smith@specialcounsel.com

Katie Dougherty

Legal RecruiterSan Diego, California

Katie Dougherty is a Legal Recruiter for the San Diego office of Special Counsel. Katie currently focuses on placing contract, contract-to-hire and direct-hire paralegal and legal support candidates with law firms and corporations in the San Diego area. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Katie spent five years managing all aspects of operations for a staffing agency located in Denver.

Katie obtained her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder and is currently pursuing a Master in Business Administration at San Diego State University.

Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

Nicole Sutton

Attorney RecruiterSan Diego, California

Nicole Sutton is an Attorney Recruiter for the San Diego office of Special Counsel. Nicole has a decade’s worth of experience in the San Diego legal community, and she specializes in contract and direct-hire placements for law firms and in-house legal departments.

Nicole has extensive experience supporting Managed Reviews, and she prides herself on being able to find qualified, proven reviewers through her established network and growing referral base. She has staffed countless review projects, including cases of patent infringement, trademark, products liability, software development and securities.

Nicole is an active member of the local legal community, where she supports the San Diego Paralegal Association and the San Diego County Bar Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities.

Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

Angela Parkinson

Executive DirectorSan Diego, California

Angela Parkinson is the Executive Director of Special Counsel's San Diego office. She is responsible for overseeing the ongoing development and expansion of Special Counsel's services in the Southern California marketplace. Angela has more than a decade of experience providing client solutions for large-scale and specialized contract attorney teams. Her office offers a full range of staffing services to San Diego's top law firms and corporate legal departments, including Managed Review, Document Review Staffing, and temporary and direct-hire staffing services.

Angela and her team have been managing document review projects since 2006, and she prides herself on developing the most cost-effective solutions to meet her clients' needs.

Angela is very active in the San Diego legal community, supporting the San Diego Association of Legal Administrators, the San Diego Paralegal Association and the San Diego County Bar Association. She is currently the president of the SoCalPROS San Diego chapter.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • SoCalPROS San Diego Chapter (President)
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

Alicia Vargas

Senior Legal RecruiterSan Diego, California

Alicia Vargas is a Senior Legal Recruiter for the San Diego office of Special Counsel. She has been with the San Diego office since 2005 and has more than a decade of recruiting and sales experience in the staffing industry. Alicia currently focuses on business development and account management for various law firms. She is also responsible for the placement of legal professionals with law firms and corporations in the San Diego area.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • San Diego Association of Legal Administrators
  • San Diego Legal Secretaries Association
  • San Diego Paralegal Association
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Real Estate Law

Marya Brancio, Esq.

Executive DirectorDenver, Colorado

Marya Brancio has served as the Executive Director of Special Counsel's Denver office for more than a decade. She ensures that the Denver team places top-level attorneys into full-time and contract staff positions with leading law firms and corporations.

Before joining Special Counsel in 1999, Marya served as in-house counsel for a brokerage firm and as vice president and general counsel for a public finance company. Her hands-on private practice and in-house experience allows Marya to truly understand her clients' needs and deliver the best legal professionals possible.

Marya earned her J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law and graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of Colorado
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Colorado Women's Bar Association
Honors and Accolades
  • Special Counsel Executive Director of the Year, 2012
  • Special Counsel All Star, 2012
  • Special Counsel Elite Team, 2012
  • Special Counsel Raising the Bar Award, 2010, 2012
  • Special Counsel Branch of the Year, 2004

Chrissie Hendrickson

Regional Search DirectorWashington, D.C.

Chrissie Hendrickson is the Regional Search Director for Special Counsel. She trains and advises internal colleagues across the country on direct hire placement best practices for legal support professionals. When a firm is in need of a top-level paralegal, legal secretary, eDiscovery specialist, patent agent, or any other type of legal support expert, the Special Counsel direct-hire team will partner with them to identify the right candidate. Chrissie's role incorporates brainstorming, strategizing, coaching and implementing solutions for Special Counsel colleagues in order to deliver the best candidates, and experience, in the legal staffing industry.

Chrissie's extensive track record of success in direct-hire staffing began in 2006. Since that time, she has recruited and placed administrative, marketing, business development, human resources and management professionals in the Washington, D.C. area.

Nondas Davis, Esq.

Regional Search DirectorFlorida

Nondas Davis is a Regional Search Director for Special Counsel. In her role, Nondas directly supports Special Counsel’s Vice President of Search in the training, mentoring and developing of Attorney Search Directors across various markets, including Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Nondas partners with the Executive Directors of Special Counsel's branches to ensure their Attorney Search Directors are as successful as possible.

Nondas is a native Floridian and a graduate of Florida State University and Florida State College of Law. After graduation, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. Nondas was an Attorney Search Director with Special Counsel for thirteen years. Nondas worked in the Charlotte market for a number of years, placing attorneys and paralegals into positions with law firms and corporations across North and South Carolina. In 2006, Nondas returned to South Florida and handled direct hire attorney placement for law firms and corporate legal departments all over the state of Florida.

Having lived in Jacksonville, South Florida, and Tampa, Nondas is familiar with the nuances of the various Florida markets. Nondas is also well versed in the staffing of attorney document review projects and contract attorneys throughout Central and North Florida. Nondas is a frequent speaker and author on topics such as corporate counsel compensation, resume and interview tips, and social media.

Articles
Presentations
  • "LinkedIn – A Multifaceted Tool," Raleigh Durham Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (November 2012)
  • "What’s New – Compensation for In-House Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel South Florida Chapter (November 2012)
  • "What’s New – Compensation for In-House Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel North Florida Chapter (September 2012)
  • "What’s New – Compensation for In-House Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel North Florida Chapter (September 2011)
Bar Admissions
  • Florida State Bar

Elizabeth Cohen, Esq.

Attorney Search DirectorFort Lauderdale, Florida

As Special Counsel's Attorney Search Director for Florida, Elizabeth Cohen focuses on placing top-level attorneys into full-time positions with law firms and corporations throughout the state and in a broad range of practice areas.

Prior to joining Special Counsel, Elizabeth worked as a litigator in a law firm in Chicago where she primarily focused on bankruptcy and creditor's rights. She received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and her bachelor's from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While in law school, Elizabeth was the managing editor of the Children's Legal Rights Journal, the recipient of the Judge Harold Siegen Scholarship and a legal writing tutor. Additionally, she was a judicial extern for the Honorable James Egan in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Florida Association for Women Lawyers
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Creditor's Rights
  • Compliance
Publications
  • "Prenatal Drug Exposure: Contrasting Approaches Among States," Children's Legal Rights Journal, 2008

Allison Smith, ACP, FRP

Placement DirectorJacksonville, Florida

Allison Smith is a Placement Director for the Jacksonville office of Special Counsel. She specializes in recruiting talented litigation support personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries and executive assistants and connecting them with top law firms and corporations in Florida.

Allison has extensive experience as a paralegal, having become nationally certified in 2007 through the National Association of Legal Assistants. She started her paralegal career by working for various insurance defense firms where she handled construction litigation defect cases. In 2008, she obtained her advanced certification in discovery and became a Florida Registered Paralegal.

Allison has been a member of the Northeast Florida Paralegal Association since 2007 and has served on the association's board of directors since 2010. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a bachelor's degree in legal studies in 2006.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • National Association of Legal Assistants
  • Northeast Florida Paralegal Association
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Insurance Defense Litigation
  • Construction Defect Litigation
Honors and Accolades
  • NALA Affiliate Award (For Advancing The Legal Assistant Profession Through Volunteer Service), 2012

Aida C. Rodriguez

Executive DirectorMiami, Florida

Aida C. Rodriguez is the Executive Director of Special Counsel's Miami, Florida office. Aida has more than 20 years of experience in the South Florida legal field and she leverages her experience to consult and provide law firms and corporate clients with talent acquisition, management and eDiscovery solutions to improve service delivery and bottom-line results. Aida is responsible for general management duties for Special Counsel's offices in South Florida and for supporting client and business development. Aida also serves as the National Chair of the company's Diversity & Inclusion Committee and works hand-in-hand with multiple diversity organizations on both the local and national levels to promote awareness and appreciation of the value of diversity and inclusion in today's global society.

Aida came to the organization with litigation and case management experience in law firms and also serves adjunct professor at Florida International University.

Languages
  • Spanish
  • English

Kara Coffee

Executive DirectorAtlanta, Georgia

Kara Coffee, the Executive Director of Special Counsel's Atlanta office, delivers Document Review Staffing, Managed Review, and contract and direct-hire staffing solutions to law firms and corporate legal departments in the Atlanta area.

Kara started her career as a paralegal in New York City working for a small firm and focusing primarily on litigation. Kara moved to Atlanta and continued working in litigation for the next nine years. She later supported a large, publicly traded legal staffing company where she held roles in recruiting, sales and management.

Kara earned her bachelor's degree from Marymount College and received her ABA-approved paralegal certificate from The National Center for Paralegal Training.

Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Litigation

Virginia Almy

Business Development DirectorAtlanta, Georgia

Virginia Almy is a Business Development Director for the Special Counsel office in Atlanta, Georgia. She focuses on marketing top temporary and direct-hire legal professionals to Atlanta's most prestigious law firms and in-house legal departments. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Virginia worked as an assistant district attorney in Baldwin County, Alabama, where she prosecuted criminal cases assigned to the Drug Court docket.

Virginia received her J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, which is located on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her B.A. from the University of Alabama, where she graduated with a double major in English and history.

Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Corporate Governance
  • Procurement
  • Civil Litigation

Zain Atassi, Esq.

Attorney Search Director Chicago, Illinois

Zain Atassi is an Attorney Search Director for the Chicago office of Special Counsel. Zain currently focuses on placing top-level attorneys into full-time positions with law firms and corporations in the Chicago and surrounding markets. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Zain worked as a commercial litigator with boutique Chicago law firms, where she focused her practice on contract, healthcare, product liability, and business litigation matters.

Zain obtained her J.D. from Washington University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (with honors) from Washington University in St. Louis. During her time at Washington University School of Law, Zain was a member of the Moot Court team and served as a summer judicial extern for the Supreme Court of New York.

Bar Admissions
  • Illinois State Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Christine E. Hollis

Vice President of RecruitmentChicago, Illinois

As Vice President of Recruitment, Christine E. Hollis connects leading law firms and corporations with premier contract attorneys, document review attorneys and document review paralegals.

Christine originally joined Special Counsel in 2001 and has held a number of leadership positions, including placement director. Prior to starting her recruiting career, she worked as a contract paralegal with a Fortune 100 organization.

Christine earned her master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology from DePaul University and received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Spelman College.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • American Psychological Association
Honors and Accolades
  • Special Counsel President's Club, 2006-2011

Jesse P. Hyde, Esq.

Attorney Search DirectorChicago, Illinois

Jesse P. Hyde is an Attorney Search Director in the Chicago office of Special Counsel. Jesse recruits and places top-level attorneys at law firms and corporate legal departments.

Jesse is responsible for placing attorneys in a broad range of practice areas, including corporate and securities, banking and finance, intellectual property, real estate, healthcare, labor and employment, tax, commercial litigation, trust and estates and many others.

Jesse received his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law (Dean’s List) and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. While in law school, Jesse was a member of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, the Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Team and a judicial extern for the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Jesse was a commercial litigation attorney with a midsize law firm in Chicago.

Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of Illinois, 2006
  • State Bar of Michigan, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2007
Published Articles
  • Co-Author: "Multidistrict Litigation: Technical and Practical Considerations" (FDCC Quarterly, 2009)
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Career Assistance Committee - Co-Chair
  • University of Michigan Club of Greater Chicago - Board Member

Julie Rau

Vice President of Business DevelopmentChicago, Illinois

Julie Rau serves as Vice President of Business Development for the Chicago office of Special Counsel. Julie focuses on developing business relationships with law firms and corporate legal departments by providing attorneys, paralegals and support staff for document reviews (electronic or paper), Managed Reviews, project management, internal workload balancing, employee coverage and direct-hire additions.

Since joining Special Counsel in 2005, Julie has been instrumental in securing new business, growing existing client relationships and overseeing a number of the Chicago office's largest eDiscovery projects. Julie has been working in the staffing and employment industry for more than 17 years. Julie holds a bachelor's degree in business from Saginaw Valley State University.

Honors and Accolades
  • Special Counsel President's Club, 2006-2007, 2009-2012
  • Special Counsel SuperStars Award, 2010

Ellen B. Feldman, Esq.

Senior Attorney Search DirectorBaltimore, Maryland

Ellen Feldman is a Senior Attorney Search Director in the Baltimore office of Special Counsel. Ellen places attorneys and paralegals in direct hire positions in law firms and corporate legal departments across the Maryland area. Ellen clerked for The Honorable James F. Schneider, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, for one year prior to becoming an associate with the nationally renowned law firm in Baltimore. Additionally, Ellen practiced law for eight years before joining Special Counsel in 1996.

Ellen is an honors graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and an honors graduate of the University of Delaware.

Bar Admissions
  • Maryland State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
Awards/Recognition
  • Volunteer Award for the South Baltimore Learning Center for Adult Literacy
Publications
  • University of Baltimore Law Review

Marciann Dunnagan, Esq.

Executive DirectorBoston, Massachusetts

Marciann Dunnagan, Special Counsel's Executive Director in Boston, specializes in placing talented contract legal professionals with the most prestigious law firms and corporations in New England.

Marciann has more than 21 years of experience in legal staffing, and she has worked in a variety of capacities, including as a recruiter, business development director and regional manager.

Marciann graduated from Capital University Law School and earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Western New England College.

Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of Massachusetts
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Massachusetts Women's Bar Association
  • Women in eDiscovery, Boston Chapter

Tiffany Han

Senior Placement DirectorBoston, Massachusetts

Tiffany Han is the Senior Placement Director in Special Counsel’s Boston office. Tiffany focuses on recruiting contract and direct-hire paralegals, legal secretaries and document review attorneys for New England’s leading law firms and corporations.

Before joining Special Counsel, Tiffany spent 4 years as a litigation paralegal at a boutique firm and then joined Ropes & Gray, one of the preeminent law firms in Boston. There, she specialized in assisting attorneys with pharmaceutical and Medicare fraud matters.

Tiffany holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University and a paralegal certificate from Northeastern University.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Massachusetts Paralegal Association
  • Boston University Hockey Board of Directors

DeAnne Brooks

Legal Search DirectorMinneapolis, Minnesota

DeAnne Brooks is a Legal Search Director for the Minneapolis office of Special Counsel. In her role, DeAnne specializes in the direct hire placement of legal secretaries, paralegals and other support staff including accounting, litigation support and IT positions. DeAnne has a unique combination of practical, academic, and legal experience that makes her an excellent resource for clients and candidates of Special Counsel.

DeAnne has worked in the legal profession for over 20 years. She began her career as a legal secretary in the insurance industry. DeAnne obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University in 2004. After completing her paralegal degree, DeAnne specialized in workers’ compensation litigation and insurance defense litigation. DeAnne also spent a year as the director of client relations before joining Special Counsel.

Kirsten Nyhus, Esq.

Attorney Search DirectorMinneapolis, Minnesota

Kirsten Nyhus is the Attorney Search Director in the Minneapolis office of Special Counsel. In this role, Kirsten recruits and places top-level attorneys at law firms and corporate legal departments throughout Minnesota and the surrounding markets.

Prior to joining Special Counsel, Kirsten practiced healthcare law in-house at one of the nation's largest non-profit healthcare organizations. She then went on to co-found and operate an online start-up company.

Kirsten received her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law, Dean's List, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University San Marcos, magna cum laude.

Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar
  • North Dakota State Bar
  • Nebraska State Bar (inactive)
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Creighton Law Alumni Committee – Minneapolis
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association

Jaime Lawrence, Esq.

Paralegal Search DirectorNew York, New York

Jaime Lawrence is a Paralegal Search Director for the Special Counsel New York office. Jaime currently focuses on placing paralegals and other non-attorneys into full-time positions with law firms and corporations in New York City. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Jaime worked as a civil litigator, focusing on the representation of individual clients in various matters dealing with sexual harassment, discrimination, defamation, and medical malpractice.

Jaime received her J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from Duquesne University, where she graduated cum laude. During her time at Cooley, Jaime received an honors scholarship.

Bar Admissions
  • New York State Bar
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association

Patrick Thompson

Junior Placement DirectorRaleigh, North Carolina

Patrick Thompson, a Junior Placement Director for Special Counsel's office in Raleigh, North Carolina, focuses on placing legal support, paralegal and non-traditional professionals in the Triad, the Triangle and Eastern North Carolina.

Patrick received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, he worked as a database administrator for the university. He later managed stores in the Triangle for three national retailers.

Brian R. Weyhrich, Esq.

Attorney Search DirectorCharlotte, North Carolina

As the Attorney Search Director for Special Counsel's offices in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, Brian R. Weyhrich recruits and places top-level attorneys with leading law firms and companies throughout the area and across the U.S. Brian handles attorney placements in a broad range of practice areas.

As a former practicing commercial litigation attorney, Brian has personal experience with commercial contract disputes, antitrust claims, unfair competition, trade secret misappropriation, covenants not to compete, financial services litigation and fraud actions. He leverages his hands-on experience to produce superior matches between legal candidates and the clients he serves.

Brian received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law and holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance from Indiana University.

Bar Admissions
  • The United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • The United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • The Federal Trade Commission
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Corporate and Securities Litigation
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Healthcare Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Tax Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Trusts and Estates

Courtney E. Ziegler, Esq.

Placement DirectorRaleigh, North Carolina

Courtney E. Ziegler is a Placement Director in Special Counsel's Raleigh office. She specializes in direct-hire and contract recruiting for attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, document review attorneys and corporate professionals.

Courtney is a graduate of the New England School of Law where she earned her J.D. She worked as a paralegal for Flood & Favata throughout college and law school before joining the firm as an attorney in 2009. Her areas of practice included civil litigation, estate planning and real estate. In 2012, she relocated to North Carolina and worked as a document review attorney before joining Special Counsel in 2013 as a legal recruiter.

Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of Massachusetts
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Civil and Commercial Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Prosecution and Litigation
  • Commercial and Residential Real Estate Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Contract Administration
  • Document Review

Elizabeth Hamilton, Esq.

Attorney Search DirectorCleveland, Ohio

Elizabeth "Liz" Hamilton is an Attorney Search Director in the Cleveland office of Special Counsel. Liz focuses on placing attorneys into direct hire positions with corporations and law firms in northern and central Ohio. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Liz worked for thirteen years in Ohio law firms, where she practiced in the areas of estate and trust law and estate taxation.

Liz received her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication from Marietta College, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Bar Admissions
  • Connecticut Bar
  • Ohio Bar

Allison Minton

Business Development DirectorCincinnati, Ohio

Allison Minton is the Business Development Director for Special Counsel’s Cincinnati, Ohio office. In her current role, Allison develops and manages relationships with key decision makers in law firms and corporate legal departments in the Cincinnati area.

Before joining Special Counsel, Allison worked as an attorney for a local civil litigation firm. She is a proud member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Kentucky State Bar Association and the Cincinnati Bar Association. She earned her J.D. from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kentucky.

Professional Memberships/Associations:
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Kentucky State Bar Association
  • Cincinnati Bar Association

Nichole Badger, Esq.

Direct Hire Division Director Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Nichole Badger is the Direct Hire Division Director in the Philadelphia office of Special Counsel. In this role, Nichole recruits and places top-level attorneys at law firms and corporate legal departments throughout the Delaware Valley.

Prior to joining Special Counsel, Nichole practiced corporate law with one of New Jersey's largest law firms for five years and then went on to found a boutique entertainment law practice. With an in-depth understanding of law firm management and the needs of corporate in-house legal departments, Nichole excels in positioning both attorneys and expanding legal groups for long-term success.

Nichole graduated with a dual degree, J.D./MBA, from Rutgers School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College.

Bar Admissions
  • New Jersey State Bar
  • Pennsylvania State Bar
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women - Pennsylvania Chapter, Board Member
  • Barristers Association of Philadelphia

Gerard P. Grandzol

Vice President of RecruitmentPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Gerry P. Grandzol serves as Vice President of Recruitment for the Philadelphia office of Special Counsel. He is responsible for recruiting and vetting attorneys seeking document review positions as well as legal professionals seeking temporary and permanent paralegal and legal support positions.

Gerard earned his bachelor’s from Saint Joseph’s University. He is an active member of the local legal and charitable communities, having supported numerous American Cancer Society events. In addition, Gerard has been a member of the Philadelphia Sharks ice hockey team since 2005 and today serves as the team’s captain.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Philadelphia Association of Paralegals
  • South Jersey Paralegal Association
  • Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Association of Legal Administrators
  • International Paralegal Management Association
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Document Review Staffing
  • Mid-level Recruiting
  • Lateral Recruiting
Honors and Accolades
  • Special Counsel President’s Club, 2006-2012

Nicholas Grimm, Esq.

Attorney Search DirectorPittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Nicholas (Nick) Grimm is an Attorney Search Director for the Pittsburgh office of Special Counsel. Nick currently focuses on placing talented attorneys into full-time positions with law firms and corporations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prior to joining Special Counsel, Nick worked primarily in the real estate industry. He started a successful real estate settlement company representing buyers and sellers in both commercial and residential real estate transactions. Nick also provided in-house counsel to a large leasing corporation, in addition to advising on contract formation, lease negotiation and collection matters.

Nick obtained his J.D. from Barry University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University.

Bar Admissions
  • Pennsylvania State Bar

Michael Manfredi

Regional Sales Vice President, Northeast RegionPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Michael Manfredi is a Regional Sales Vice President for the Northeast Region of Special Counsel, a role that he assumed upon the integration of Ajilon Legal and Special Counsel. Michael works closely with law firms, corporate legal departments and compliance departments in Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Boston.

For more than 13 years, Michael has delivered best-in-class eDiscovery consulting and legal staffing solutions to the legal community. He has also successfully completed hundreds of Managed Review and Document Review Staffing projects for Am Law 100 and Fortune 500 organizations.

Honors and Accolades
  • Special Counsel President’s Club, 2010-2012

Scott Bruce

Vice President and Executive DirectorDallas, Texas and Kansas City, Kansas

Scott Bruce is Vice President and Executive Director for Special Counsel’s Dallas and Kansas City offices.

Scott leverages more than 16 years of legal industry experience to deliver winning solutions and unparalleled customer service to his clients. He has an extensive track record of success managing eDiscovery projects, Managed Reviews, document reviews, deposition preparation and early case assessments. Scott is also adept at helping law firms and legal departments optimize workflows, analyze costs and maximize budgets.

Scott is a graduate of Binghamton University. Before joining our team, he served as a professor of economics at the Universita Carlo Cateneo in Milan, Italy.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • The General Counsel Forum
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)
  • Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP)
  • American Library Association (ALA)
  • Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA)
  • DABA

Amanda C. Ellis, Esq.

Vice President of SearchDallas, Texas

Amanda Ellis is the Vice President of Search for Special Counsel. Amanda plans, designs and implements all direct hire training, development, integration and mentoring programs for all of Special Counsel. Prior to her current role, Amanda worked as an Attorney Search Director for Special Counsel. Additionally, Amanda also established her own search firm where she placed direct hire attorneys in law firms and corporate legal departments.

Prior to entering the legal recruiting field, Amanda practiced in the area of commercial bankruptcy law in Massachusetts and Texas. Amanda received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, summa cum laude, from Centenary College of Louisiana. Amanda obtained her J.D. degree from The University of Texas School of Law.

Bar Admissions
  • Massachusetts Bar
  • United States District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas
Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Texas Women Lawyers – Immediate Pas President
  • Dallas Chi Omega Alumnae Association
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers
  • Dallas Bar Association
Publications

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Presentations
  • "Opportunities & Techniques in the Use of Social Media for Legal Recruiting," National Association of Legal Search Consultants Fall Symposium (October 2012)
  • "Recruiting Using Social Media," National Association of Legal Search Consultants Annual Conference (May 2012)
  • "We Want You (In Our Network)," National Association of Law Placement Annual Conference (April 2012)
  • "Social Media for Career Advancement," Austin Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (October 2011)
  • "Social Media in Recruiting," National Association of Legal Search Consultants Fall Symposium (October 2011)
  • "Boot Camp for New Lawyers," New York City Bar Association (September 2011)
  • "Social Media Makeover," State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting (June 2011)
  • "Pros and Cons of Social Media," Texas Minority Attorney Program (May 2011)
  • "Creating Your Brand: Image Management for Career Success in the New Millennium," NALP Annual Conference (April 2011)
  • "A Lattice, Not a Ladder," Texas Women Lawyers (March 2011)
  • "Blocking and Tackling: Interviews, Resumes and Social Media," State Bar of Texas Webcast (September 2010)
  • "Social Media Legal Issues," TalentNet Live Social Recruiting Conference (August 2010)
  • "Tackling Twitter for Business Development," 85 Broads Jam Session (July 2010)
  • "Social Media: Catching the Wave," Employment Law Conference (July 2010)
  • "Online Social Networking for Lawyers," New York City Bar Association (May 2010)
  • "Social Networking for Business Development," Frisco Bar Association (April 2010)
  • "Social Networking for Law Firm Recruiting," Recruiting Administrators of Dallas (March 2010)
  • "Tips to Find a Job," Dallas Bar Association's Transition to Law Practice Program (February 2010)
  • "The Art of Client Identification and Retention," Texas Women Lawyers (February 2010)
  • "Social Networking is Here to Stay," Association of Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies Mid-Winter Conference (January 2010)
  • "Surviving these Frightful Times: Career Development in the New Economy," Michigan Network of IWIRC (October 2009)
  • "Social Networking for Law Firm Recruiting," San Diego Legal Recruitment Association (July 2009)
  • "Survive and Thrive," Baylor Law School (June 2009)
  • "Survive and Thrive," University of Texas School of Law (September 2009)
  • "Survive and Thrive," SMU Dedman School of Law (February 2009)
Quoted/Mentioned

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Electra T. Harelson

Senior Placement DirectorDallas, Texas

Electra T. Harelson has more than 13 years of legal staffing experience and more than 20 years of experience in the legal industry.

A native of Dallas, Electra has been a legal recruiter with Special Counsel since 2000. She is responsible for the placement of contract attorneys and paralegals, as well as direct-hire paralegals and administrative staff. Electra works closely with in-house legal departments and law firms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Electra has a proven track record placing temporary attorneys to perform specialized functions, including drafting and negotiating contracts, conducting due diligence, and providing legal expertise during a hiring freeze or while someone is on medical leave. She also assists with staffing eDiscovery projects and document reviews.

Electra earned her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Duke University.

Sharon A. McLaughlin, Esq.

Regional Search DirectorHouston, Texas

Sharon A. McLaughlin, Esq. is a Regional Search Director with Special Counsel in Houston, Texas. In her current role, she trains and advises internal Attorney Search Directors on the permanent placement of attorneys in in-house corporate legal departments. She focuses on training, strategizing, coaching, developing and implementing solutions for Special Counsel’s Attorney Search Directors nationally to provide the company’s clients the best attorney search experience and results on the market.

Sharon has more than nine years of legal recruiting experience placing associate and partner-level attorneys with law firms and in-house corporate legal departments throughout the country. Prior to transitioning into legal recruiting, she was an attorney in private practice and specialized in business and employment-based immigration law in Texas and California.

Sharon is admitted to the State Bar of Texas as well as the State Bar of California. She received her B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1992, and her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California in 1996.

Bar Admissions
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Texas
Practice Areas or Areas of Focus
  • Employment Law
  • Business Immigration Law

Rani Spaulding

Executive DirectorSan Antonio, Texas

Rani Spaulding is the Executive Director for Special Counsel’s office in San Antonio, Texas. With more than 18 years of experience in the legal search and placement industry, Rani understands her clients’ hiring criteria and is able create superior matches at all levels, from attorneys to receptionists.

Rani supports law firms and corporations throughout the San Antonio area, whether they need contract, contract-to-hire or permanent talent.

Professional Memberships/Associations
  • Alamo Area Paralegal Association
  • South Texas Organization of Paralegals
  • Bexar County Woman’s Bar Association
  • Alamo Area of Legal Administrators
Honors and Accolades
  • Ajilon Legal SuperStars Award, 2008

Jennifer Smith

Administrative Coordinator and Junior RecruiterSan Antonio, Texas

Jennifer Smith is the Administrative Coordinator and Junior Recruiter for Special Counsel’s San Antonio office. Jennifer has six years of administrative experience and 10 years of marketing experience. Before joining Special Counsel, Jennifer worked for J. Eftekhar & Associates, a full-service accident reconstruction and forensic engineering firm.