Born and raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Chris demonstrated at an early age his diverse interests and talents, including music, performing and academics. He began playing the piano at age eight, wrote his first song at age 10, and had his first professionally produced recording by the age of 12. With music as an early-on passion, at age 14 he started his first company, C&C Studios and The DJ Connection, a full service entertainment company for special events. It also allowed Chris to record his own material. Chris attended an exclusive private high school in Michigan where he achieved high honors and further developed his talents.
He received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a dual major of Finance and New Venture Management at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. During his time at NU, Chris took up Competitive Ballroom Dancing, competing for 4 1/2 years, and at the height of his competitive dancing was ranked 27th in the nation. During this time, Chris had developed a particular interest in the options and equity market, and had been trading since he was 18.
During the later part of his undergraduate education, the CEO of JSA Technologies hired Chris as the Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, he restructured the product offering to become a service offering in order to reduce selling costs and produce a reliable cash flow for the company. His internal function was budgeting, forecasting, financial modeling, and involvement in negotiation. Their first client was Harvard University and JSA was responsible for the online money transfer feature for Harvard’s Crimson Cash Program. Now, more than 50 universities across the nation are customers of JSA.
Chris earned a J.D. and an M.S.F. (Master of Science in Finance) from Suffolk University Law and Business School, where he was awarded the Distinguished Oral Advocate and was the first first-year law student ever admitted to the national trial team. He competed all four years of the dual degree program on the national team, achieving regional semi-finals in the 3rd year and regional finals in his last year. He also won every internal mock trial competition (Junior and Senior Mock Trial Competition), won Best Trial Advocate in Fall 2003, and the Harold B. Goodwin Trial Advocacy Scholarship.
Gifted with a natural entrepreneurial spirit and intellectual curiosity, Chris set out to revolutionize the legal industry moments after graduating with a vision for creating the firm of the future. This firm would abandon traditional law practice and the billable hour, focusing on the value of services provided, rather than the cost of one’s time. After conducting thorough research on the topic of the history of law and the billable hour, and unable to find a law firm with this unique business model, it sparked the idea for a business.
Chris began to imagine the possibilities of beginning a law firm that offered fixed pricing, valued a work-life balance and placed customer service at the forefront. He envisioned the company would operate more like a traditional business, with a capacity-first business model where key management personnel are involved more as firm partners, timesheets do not exist and key functions like marketing, operations, human capital and customer relations are critical to its success.
Chris realized the firm of the future could be created with vision and leadership, the guts to forge a new path in an industry that is crying out for a reform, and a marketplace that would support such a departure. Not yet entrenched in traditional legal methods, and wanting to solve a problem greater than himself alone, Chris realized bringing this business model to market would not only change his life, but also impact and change the lives of attorneys, consumers, and the marketplace—ultimately how the law is practiced and consumed.
After months of research, Exemplar Law Partners was born in April 2005. A constantly evolving work in progress, Chris is leading a management team in shaping the business model to attract and retain talented attorneys and support staff that support his vision and want to make Exemplar Law Partners the iconic firm of the legal future.