We’re a team of lawyers who help lawyers get unstuck, find purpose, and design their ideal practice. 

We have professional training and experience in many different disciplines—from Agile, to design thinking, to Lean and Lean Startup, to responsive organization design, to strengths assessment and alignment, to visual communication design.

In addition, each of us knows first hand what it’s like to be a lawyer. When we were in practice, we learned that the profession could be improved by borrowing from these other domains. It’s hard to say how we first got together, but once we did the connections were immediate. We saw overlap between our various disciplines and realized that by joining forces we could provide more holistic solutions.

Alix Devendra

Alix’s superpower is her ability to sort through the clutter, find the path forward, and help others connect the dots.

John Grant

John’s superpower is his ability to get lawyers to actually see their work (and their workflows) for the very first time.

Cat Moon

Cat’s superpower is helping other people use their superpowers to find alignment, flow, and joy both personally and professionally.

Alix Devendra

Alix is a Design Strategist at Start Here HQ. After practicing at a large firm, Alix decided that there must be a better way to deliver legal advice. She saw room for improvement everywhere—from the formatting of briefs to the tradition of billing by the hour. She left law practice to focus on teaching lawyers how to leverage design principles to communicate more effectively. In addition to teaching lawyers design thinking, Alix also consults for legal-tech startups, who value her lawyerly (yet still innovative) perspective.

More recently she has focused on bringing responsive organization design to the law, helping legal teams articulate their greater purpose, share information and learnings openly, and respond rapidly to the changing demands of their clients.

In her previous life, Alix practiced labor-and-employment law at an AmLaw 100 firm in San Francisco. She graduated first in her class from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French literature from Pomona College.

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Alix travels the world speak about legal design, facilitate workshops, and consult with clients on site.

 

Kind words from Alix’s clients

Alix is straight up awesome. And great to work with. In two short months she’s made incredibly valuable contributions to FairClaims. She’s passionate about what she does and so much more—she has great ideas, is extremely diligent, and is all about team/getting it done. I highly recommend her.
— Stephen Kane, FairClaims
Alix provided tremendous support in planning and facilitating a workshop for MSI Integrity. Despite the highly technical subject matter of the workshop, Alix quickly understood our project goals and provided us with useful insights on ways to adapt a ‘design thinking’ process to our work. Alix was incredibly dedicated to our project and always met deadlines. Most significantly, Alix was flexible, creative, positive and professional, even when we needed to modify our workshop agenda at the last minute.
— Madeline Hung, MSI Integrity
Alix built a fantastic PowerPoint deck for a major presentation one of our partners will be giving. She helped us on short notice, listened closely to our input, gave her own insightful suggestions, delivered slides that we will be happy to reuse in future presentations, and made the whole process easy. She has an eye for the whole design experience, from the aesthetic to the technical. We will definitely bring design projects for the law firm to Alix again. Thank you!
— Forrest Carlson, Assemble Law Group

John Grant

John E. Grant is passionate about helping lawyers and legal teams harness 21st-century tools to build profitable, efficient practices. He believes a relentless focus on delivering customer value and a commitment to measurable outcomes are the keys to lasting success.

John coaches Start Here HQ clients on business process and technology optimization. Known as the Agile Attorney, John teaches legal teams of all sizes to harness Lean process improvement and Agile project management to measurably and sustainably improve their operations. He’s been clocked building a fully fledged kanban board in less than an hour, leaving the faint smell of burnt sticky notes in his wake.

Before starting his legal career, John spent nearly a decade with a software company that used outside-the-box thinking and superior technology to disrupt and consolidate an industry. He has not only seen, but helped drive innovation through business model optimization and cross-functional communication. He is passionate about understanding customer value at every opportunity, whether it be as a lawyer, a consultant, or a coach.

Although he’s not actively lawyering these days, John was an early adopter of modern law practice tools. Founded in 2008, his boutique IP firm was paperless, cloud-based, and used alternative fee arrangements from day one. Eventually that three-person firm harnessed process design and technology to open and track an average of 25 new matters a week.

 

Kind words from John’s clients

After implementing the Agile practices John taught me, I feel so much more in control of my work! Plus, after one month my amount of billable hours increased 70% over the past six-month average—Incredible!
— Jess Birken, Birken Law
I very much appreciate the skill John brought to the presentation and the information he was able to impart on my staff. We have hit the ground running since our workshop and are already instituting some of the tools that John recommended.
— Patrick Palace, Palace Law Firm
John’s inspired me to change the way I do things. I have had a Kanban board for about a year. It has helped me visualize the workflow and identify things that I need to improve. Simply put, it has helped me see and manage both the forest and the trees.
— Mike Polk, Belser & Belser

Cat Moon

A human centered designer and lawyer, Cat coaches and consults with Start Here HQ clients in workflow design, communication strategy, change management, and work/life alignment. Practicing law since 1998, she co-founded the first all-woman, paperless, tech-driven firm in Tennessee in 2006. Since then, Cat has combined project management, kanban, technology, and design thinking to help lawyers leverage their superpowers and create practices that align purpose, profitability, and passion.

Cat teaches (legal) design thinking and Agile project management at Vanderbilt Law School, her alma mater, and co-organizes the Music City Legal Hackers group. She regularly contributes to the ABA’s Legal Technology Today blog, writing there and elsewhere about legal technology, blockchain, kanban and Agile project management, design thinking, and work/life alignment.

As a certified Legal Project Practitioner, Cat holds the only internationally-recognized designation as an experienced practitioner and consultant in legal project management and through LPM Alignment offers the only globally-recognized training for LPM certification in North America.

Based out of Nashville, Cat travels the world helping lawyers hone their unique superpowers through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and consulting.

Reach her at cat@startherehq.com, and find her on Twitter, @inspiredcat.

 

kind words from cat’s clients

Cat is my miracle! She not only “gets” me, but she seems to understand even what I’m not saying. She takes my vision and my sometimes crazy and disorganized thoughts and helps me create a plan like it was magic. I cannot put into words how much working with Cat has helped me clarify my goals and generate boundless enthusiasm for seeing them turn into reality.
— Nanette Gould, Nashville Employment Law Center
I didn’t even know all the forks in the road facing me. These were actually opportunities to do things in a better way – not painful changes. There’s always some trepidation about any change. But I went from not even knowing what I was facing to knowing what I was facing but knowing that everything was achievable, doable. In the assessment, I learned that I’m worse off than I thought. But when presented all the options, it suddenly became manageable. My work with Cat has gotten to the point that I’ve been so tickled about it that I didn’t want my competition to know how good she is and I don’t want to share her. Change was forced on me, but when I embraced it, it was the difference of not continuing to do things in a way that was dated, inefficient and impractical. Executing the plan took us to the next step, where I wanted to embrace bringing Cat on for another project — the website.
— Richard House, Richard House Law
As a transactional real estate attorney my practice is based almost completely on service and long standing relationships. When it comes to growing my practice, I have a very narrow target market on which to focus my marketing efforts. Because of that, I never put much emphasis on internet marketing or, for that matter, any type of broad based marketing concept. To have a resource like Cat Moon, a practicing attorney, who understands the nuances involved in marketing my practice, is invaluable. I have consulted with Cat one on one and attended one of her workshops on internet marketing. In just a few short hours, I gained a whole new understanding on how to reach and attract desired clients to my practice via the internet and use of social media. If you are interested in learning how to grow your practice using the internet and social media, you need to contact Cat.
— Scott Hubbard, McCann & Hubbard
Working with Cat was a wonderful experience. As a fellow lawyer, she understands how lawyers work, what we want and what we are willing to do for ourselves (i.e., that we don’t want to learn the technology, we just want to get it to work for us!). She listened and observed and then provided practical resources that addressed our specific issues. As a fellow entrepreneur, she understands the challenges facing small-business owners and caters her solutions to those concerns. She provides superior service with a great attention to detail.
— Tonya Matthews, Fisher Matthews PLLC