Interviews Sanford Michelman

Published on January 20th, 2016 | by Chad T.


Sanford L. Michelman – Michelman & Robinson, LLP

Sanford L. Michelman, a Los Angeles resident, is the co-founder and chairman of Michelman & Robinson, LLP (M&R) and is a partner for the law firm’s Commercial & Business Litigation and Regulatory & Administrative Departments.

What motivates you to build a successful law firm?

I’m driven by the opportunity to build an innovative, entrepreneurial law firm. We have a great team that works on an “okay to fail” model. It allows us to continually try new initiatives so that we are delivering exceptional service and legal counsel to our clients. Because of this, every day is new, exciting and rewarding.

What do you look for in new members of your team?

A strong work ethic, intelligence and problem solving skills are the three top qualifications. At the most fundamental level, our firm’s mission it to provide excellent client service. We look for people whose goals and values align with this principle. Also, we want people who intend to retire from M&R. We want to know that our decision-makers are in it for the long haul.

In this day and age, how do you find people who are willing a commitment to stay with the firm?

We try to make sure that every hire is a cultural fit. You have to define your culture and make sure that you do not deviate from it. Also, we encourage our new attorneys to work in an area of the law where they have a true affinity.

What kinds of clients do you represent?

I focus my practice on the insurance, financial services, advertising and digital media industries. I represent insurers, broker/agents, underwriters, private equity groups and other financial services companies, and advertising and media companies across the country. I’ve also represented clients in investigation conducted by different governmental agencies such as the Departments of Insurance and Attorney General’s Offices, the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Real Estate among others.

On the flip side, I at times represent the government itself and handle matters for government officials. I worked for U.S. Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), assisting with the investigation of Executive Life Insurance, Inc., and the nomination of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to the law, what else is important to you?

I enjoy giving back to the community. I’m on a number of boards and was recently appointed to the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Western Division Board. There, I have the opportunity to assist in managing the division’s grant focus areas and guidelines, events and volunteer activities. The IICF is a public charity dedicated to helping communities and enriches lives by combining the collective strengths of the insurance industry to provide grants, volunteer service, and leadership.

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