Matt Spiegel ’05 Shares His Experience as an Attorney and a Tech Entrepreneur
After graduating from TJSL in May 2005 and immediately passing the bar, Matt Spiegel began working in one of San Diego’s largest consumer law firms practicing criminal defense. Spiegel would not have predicted the exact path his career would follow but, “If you were to ask me when I was 16 years old what I thought I would be doing at this point in my life, the answer would probably not have been that far off from where I am,” he assures.
Spiegel acquired four years of valuable experience in criminal defense before starting the Spiegel Law Group, his own criminal defense practice, in September 2009. It was only a month after starting the Spiegel Law Group he got the idea for MyCase. “The prototype for MyCase quickly transformed from a more modern way for attorneys to communicate with clients into a full practice management solution,” said Speigel.
“In January of 2011 we launched MyCase,” Spiegel adds “I was able to bring on an associate to help run my practice at around that same time and I became the full time CEO of MyCase.” After AppFolio, a Santa Barbara based company, took interest in and acquired MyCase in 2012 Spiegel has stayed on as Founder and VP.
When reflecting on the interests that have guided his career Spiegel states, “I love to talk and I love to argue my side to strangers. Criminal defense was a natural venue for those character traits. The idea of being in court all the time and the opportunity to conduct jury trials was just too perfect for me.” Spiegel explains, “I can say that I have always been interested in the business side of the law so it’s no real surprise that I ended up switching gears early on in my career.”
As a tech entrepreneur, “The most exciting part of my job is getting to create solutions that truly solve attorneys’ everyday problems. It is extremely rewarding to be able to interact with so many different attorneys and their staff on a regular basis. I get to learn about the problems they face running their practice, and then develop solution to those problems that completely change their daily routines in a really positive and productive way,” Spiegel states.
When asked what advice he would give recent grads that have passed the bar his advice is two-fold; first, do not be afraid to go out on your own and secondly, “do not limit your options to the legal industry.” New attorneys quickly learn, “The landscape is changing and it is far more difficult to find an attorney position in an existing firm than it was 10 years ago. I would tell someone in that position to not be scared of hanging up a shingle. I would tell them to find a good mentor, apply to one of the many start up incubators around the country, and do something to ensure that you have some experienced support behind you. Once you have that in place, take the plunge and you will likely not look back,” Spiegel affirms. “The degree and bar card that you earned are extraordinarily valuable in many industries outside of the legal space. Expand your horizon and you may find some incredibly attractive opportunities.”