by Brian Nordli
November 30, 2018

When it comes to navigating the world of law, it can be easy for anyone without a law degree to become lost in the tangled web of legalese. LegalZoom, however, aims to change that.

To deliver on that goal, both the sales and customer care team are built on a model of empowerment and support. Its sales and account members are provided resources and opportunities to learn and grow with the company. That supportive atmosphere then extends to the customers, who seek professional legal advice.

We spoke to two leaders at LegalZoom for an inside look at the values that drive their teams.   

 

LegalZoom Front Desk
Photography By Rudy Arocha
LegalZoom office
Photography By Rudy Arocha
LegalZoom gym
Photography bY Rudy Arocha

 

FOUNDED: 2001

EMPLOYEES: 1,135 (596 in Austin)

WHAT THEY DO: LegalZoom provides a platform where people can seek professional advice for all their legal needs.

WHERE THEY DO IT: Corporate headquarters in Glendale, California, with operational headquarters in Austin and an office in London.

​​​​IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: Employees can celebrate their birthday like the holiday it is, receiving a paid holiday for the occasion.

IDEAL CANDIDATE: LegalZoom looks for candidates who bring a positive attitude and a competitive mindset. They want people who display an eagerness to learn, have great communication skills and seek solutions, not problems.  

MORE ON LEGALZOOM: Why lifelong learning is built into the LegalZoom experience. Learn more. 


David Jin at work

David Jin Portrait

 

David Jin, Director of Sales

David’s job may be to drive revenue, but his focus is on providing a great experience for his team and customers first. If he does that, he knows the revenue will follow.

BEYOND WORK: When David isn’t leading his team in the office, he’s guiding one on the basketball court.

 

You've been at LegalZoom for 10 years. What have been some long-term benefits of your time here?

I’ve stayed because of the people, the products and the service. Staying with LegalZoom for a decade has allowed me to accrue institutional knowledge and build relationships across the different functional teams. That knowledge and those relationships allow for great collaboration, which results in great outcomes for our customers.  

 

What is unique about selling at LegalZoom?

I enjoy being able to provide clear explanations and options for our products and services to empower customers to make informed decisions. When professional guidance is needed, it’s nice to be able to refer them to either an attorney or tax professional in the LegalZoom network.

 

The two biggest motivators for the team are recognition and the sense of a greater purpose to our work.”

 

How do you motivate your sales team?  

This is a question leadership constantly asks itself in order to maximize our sales potential. The two biggest motivators for the team are recognition and the sense of a greater purpose to our work. We make it a point to frequently recognize Zoomers for their great work with weekly and monthly contests, which are visible throughout our team and with leadership. Team members love winning these contests and seeing their name on the leaderboard.

They’re also able to take on responsibilities they’re passionate about when they perform at a high level, like becoming a part of an office committee or gaining additional responsibilities within their own sales unit to build their careers. Providing both recognition and that greater sense of purpose keep the team motivated.  

 

MORE ON LEGALZOOMWhy lifelong learning is built into the LegalZoom experience

 

When interviewing, how do you know you’ve found the ideal culture fit?

Identifying a good sales candidate in an interview can be difficult, especially if they’re really good at sales. One thing that really stands out is how genuine a candidate sounds — like when they speak about an experience — and the energy they bring in the interview. I’ve found that that enthusiasm typically helps sustain an energetic and fun work environment, which ultimately results in a great culture.  

 

Athens at work

Athens portrait

 

Athens McLaughlin, Senior Director of Account Management and Customer Care

Once a sale is made, Athens develops the strategic initiatives to ensure customers become happy users. To do so, his team is built on a foundation of open communication and support that creates a positive and supportive experience for both the employee and customer.  

BEYOND WORK: Athens loves exploring new countries and immersing himself in different cultures. When he isn’t developing relationships with customers, he’s looking for his next destination.  
 

What’s your background? How do you think this affected your leadership style?

I come from an eclectic professional background. My first job was at my dad’s car wash, and from there, I’ve worked at a BBQ restaurant, co-owned a commercial janitorial service in Colorado with my dad, worked in group homes for mentally and physically abused children in LA with my mom and in every sales role imaginable. Even at LegalZoom, I’ve held multiple positions.

Those experiences have all served to shape my leadership style. I believe there isn’t one path to success, and that forces me to think outside the box when identifying talent and creating strategies to drive business. I look for qualities in people that are outside the norm, because everyone’s resume doesn’t align with their life experiences. I have a great appreciation for folks that start in entry-level roles and are looking to grow and succeed.

 

MORE ON LEGALZOOMWhy lifelong learning is built into the LegalZoom experience

 

What project has made you the proudest during your time at LegalZoom? 

We spent 18 months transitioning the organization from a traditional customer care team to a customer advocate model. We had to ask and answer some very tough questions about ourselves as leaders and about what was in the best interest of our employees and customers. It wasn’t easy but, in the end, we created a much healthier organization that can provide any type of solution our customers need. The new model also allows us to provide our team with new skills that will position them for greater success and value moving forward. I’m so proud of the work the team has done to make this project a reality.

 

Athens at work

Athens at a meeting

 

What does career growth look like on your team and how do you support your team in that growth?

Career growth on my team is driven by empowerment. I put my people in front of other senior leaders and give them the opportunity to display their value. This allows them to take ownership of their career path while exposing them to other areas of the organization they might not have considered available.

I also ensure they have the resources they need to succeed, whether it’s a strategic reading to help them with a weaker area or assigning specific projects aimed at sharpening a particular skill set. By providing both opportunities and resources early on, my team is in a position to take control of their own career development.  

 

Career growth on my team is driven by empowerment. I put my people in front of other senior leaders and give them the opportunity to display their value.” 

 

What question are you likely to ask job candidates? What kind of answer would impress you?

The last question I like to ask is “Why should I hire you?” I'm looking for honesty, sincerity and for a candidate to explain to me how they think working at LegalZoom will change the trajectory of their career and life. I want to hear how they will make LegalZoom a better place and what skills they will work on to become the best version of themselves and a valuable asset to this organization.

 

MORE ON LEGALZOOMWhy lifelong learning is built into the LegalZoom experience

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