Nicole is Co-Founder and Partner of Cardinal Search Partners, which she helped launch after over 13 years as a legal recruiter with SJL Attorney Search, another prominent company in the industry where she was Partner and, prior to that, Head of the Associate Placement Group. Over the years, Nicole has represented attorneys at all levels of seniority and across all practice areas, as they made lateral moves to AmLaw 100 and 200 law firms, sophisticated boutique law firms, investment funds, financial institutions, and private and public companies.
With well over a decade in the industry, she is a natural partner for associates and counsel who are looking to optimize their time in Big Law. In more recent years, she has focused on guiding and collaborating with income and equity partners. They have worked tirelessly to build their brand, their practice, their network and/or business, and any possible move is a high-stakes decision. Nicole leverages her in depth knowledge of the AmLaw 200 and profitable boutique firms and her equally in depth understanding of her candidate to ensure they are aligned or align with the most successful platform and firm for their future.
Nicole’s first promise to her candidates is that the process will always be about them, and never about her. That way of recruiting has allowed the attorneys she works with to trust in their partnership, to have in-depth conversations about their career options, and to accept or reject offers with all the information in front of them. She gives each attorney the attention their career deserves and needs – it’s too important a process to do it any other way.
Prior to becoming a legal recruiter, Nicole practiced for several years at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, first in litigation and then in real estate, before transitioning to the firm’s recruiting department as its first Lateral Recruiting Coordinator. It was there that she learned what it takes to be an effective legal recruiter and how rare it is to find.
In addition to her role as legal recruiter and career advisor, Nicole looks for other opportunities to share her knowledge, publishing articles and offering value on her LinkedIn page, advising students at top law schools with respect to their OCI process, and speaking at law schools and presenting programs at major industry events, including NALP.
Nicole earned her B.A., cum laude, from Villanova University and her J.D. from Washington College of Law of American University. She is an avid football fan (though the New York Giants have been testing her the past few years) and enjoys anywhere with a beach, any type of exercise, and has in recent years become mildly obsessed with tennis and pickleball.