Tag: Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur of the Year, Managed Services, 2001

In 1992, Karl Schieneman earned MBA and JD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law; graduating cum allude and Law Review. A tight legal market led to his first job with the Big Five accounting firm PriceWaterhouse. Wanting to practice law, he gambled on his own skills and accepted a time-limited position in 1994 as a contract attorney with the firm of Marcus & Shapira. Karl’s extraordinary capacity for productive work (he was the top-billing associate at the firm) earned him a permanent position. With his personal experience as his inspiration, Karl used his entrepreneurial instincts to recognize an untapped market opportunity. He locate two partners and they formed Legal Network in 1995 to provide contract attorneys to the Pittsburgh legal community. In 1998, he gambled on himself again, leaving his secure position to shepherd Legal Network full time, stabilizing management and devoting his energies to increasing the contract attorney market and Legal Network’s share. Karl has taken the long view, steering clear of short-term gains for the company that would hurt the overall market in the long term, and he has developed a well-earned reputation as a fair player in an often-cutthroat business.

In 2000, Legal Network again doubled in size, continuing its track record of strong growth. Karl has maintained a high profile and promoted the business concept at every opportunity. During 2000 Karl has: (1) made presentations to the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Allegheny County Bar Association and co-presented with national legal consultants Altman Weil on law firm trends; (2) authored relevant articles for the Pennsylvania Bar News and Lawyers Journal; (3) garnered national attention as the first in the country to survey corporations and law firm associates and partners on skyrocketing associate salaries; and (4) been featured in a front page story in the Pittsburgh Business Times analyzing increasing lawyer salaries. In 2000, Legal Network became the only attorney placement agency to receive the endorsement of the Allegheny Bar Association.

Legal Network’s primary business is to quickly locate and supply appropriately qualified attorneys and legal support staff for short- and long-term placements to the region’s law firms and corporations. The company has started with one staff person and now has four. With a democratic, flat hierarchy, the business cross-trains staffers to allow for optimum response to peak demand in a fast-paced environment. As the company has generated a larger overall market through advertising, articles, direct mail and an internal e-mail network linking 680 of its 2000 attorneys, its product lines have expanded, personnel has been added and responsibilities refocused.

Legal Network’s mission statement focuses on ethical conduct and fair treatment of Legal Network’s employees, clients and shareholders.