Q&A: Meet Tom Baldwin, Class of 2016

Written by  //  June 9, 2017  //  No comments

There is an art to spotting a trend before others and leading the way into uncharted territory. Tom Baldwin, Partner at Fireman & Company, has mastered that art. He has led the firms he has worked for into many firsts: the value of blogging to lawyers and their practices; developing SharePoint and promoting its use for lawyers; rolling out project management tools for lawyers; recognizing the importance of interfaces in creating software for lawyers. He has a history of combining business and technology savvy and applying it to the practice of law and law firm management. Tom has always shared his insights freely — publishing his own blog, writing articles, and speaking at conferences.

Tom Baldwin
Partner
Fireman & Company
@ThomasWBaldwin

Where were you born and raised?
Portland, Oregon

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
Traveling and spending time with my family.

What achievement outside of work makes you most proud?
Volunteering as a Big Brother was very rewarding, as was being Tribe and Nation Chief during the time my daughter was in Indian Princesses.

Did you choose your career, or did it choose you?
It chose me. I was taking a sales class my senior year in college and the professor, knowing I was always broke, knew of a small startup that wrote case management software for lawyers and they needed someone just to come in and help build and sell the software. I had no idea what case management software was, but I knew it paid $15/hour, which was a ton of money for me at that time. (Does anyone actually choose this type of career coming out of college?)

Who was your mentor and what made him or her so influential?
I have two mentors. Doug Caddell and John Alber. Doug was someone I got to meet early on in my career and when he presented the opportunity to work with him, it was the chance of a lifetime. How he led the group, his focus on surrounding himself with the best talent he could find … it stuck with me. Many people are afraid of hiring top talent. He thrived on it. It really shaped how I approached building teams when I started my career in the C-Suite. John Alber, while I never had the chance to work with him, was always a willing mentor to me. His advice and counsel has always been spot on and, as far as careers go, emulating John’s approach and philosophy toward technology and lawyers was something I aspired to.

Of the law-related projects or initiatives you’ve worked on in the past year or so, what is the most exciting or shows the most promise?
In my new role at Fireman & Company, we get to work on so many projects at so many firms, it’s hard to pin down just one. We are seeing a massive shift in how law firms view, and what they expect from, their intranets. They’ve grown into actual practice management tools lawyers find business value in. Firms have realized the untapped potential of their DMS and want to maximize its use and make it a system lawyers actually want to use.

Get to know the rest of the Fellows by visiting the Recent Inductees page and by browsing the Fellows Directory.

 

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