Your Story

Your Success

It’s about You

Above the Bar Legal Recruiting (ATBLR) helps attorneys take their career to the next level by offering specialized recruitment services.  A resume and transcript paints some of the picture:  let ATBLR market you to decision-makers to present the most persuasive version of your personal and professional experiences.  At ATBLR you have the opportunity to receive the benefit from years of legal hiring expertise, including one-on-one interview preparation, to maximize your chance of getting the job you desire.

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Our Stories

Matthew Pond
Shareholder / Recruiter


Life’s an adventure!  Chapters of my own include corporate lawyer, documentary filmmaker and legal recruiter;  I’ve been an advocate in every role I’ve had which makes me uniquely qualified to represent you.  Since 2008 I’ve been placing lawyers in law firms throughout the world, and since January 2102, my focus has been on the California legal market. Allow my experience to help you create the next chapter of your story.

I graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.  As a recruiter in Sydney, Australia, I placed Australian and New Zealand lawyers in UK and Middle Eastern roles.  Prior to working in the recruitment field in the US I was a corporate lawyer with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York.  More recently, I worked at two California legal search firms before founding ATBLR.  In my spare time I enjoy hiking with my dog Joey, meditation and yoga.

Ashley Johndro
Recruiter


I truly believe we are the architects of our own careers.  No two legal careers are the same, and I’m dedicated to assisting you make the next career move that is satisfying both professionally and personally.  With experience practicing law at both a major international law firm and within the public sector, I am committed to helping you find an opportunity that is at once challenging, rewarding, and meaningful.
Before becoming a legal recruiter, I spent five years practicing law at Latham & Watkins LLP, focusing on complex business litigation.  I received my Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California, and majored in Political Science and Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.  I have a strong interest in public interest work and, from time to time, also work for a non-profit, representing indigent individuals needing legal assistance in the criminal justice system. I spend my free time on my yoga mat, in the ocean, and globetrotting in search of the world’s finest waves.

Fed Ford
Recruiting Assistant


“Stay hungry; stay foolish!” One of my favorite quotes, and words I’ve lived by my entire life. Consistent throughout the various adventures I’ve experienced in my career has been an intense hunger to do something meaningful. From the earlier chapters in my life of serving in the United States Navy as a Combat Yeoman, to working in the real estate business, and most recently working as a marketing professional, I enjoy assisting clients with their needs.  Helping you find that same fulfillment in your next career move, by supporting the behind-the-scenes recruitment at Above the Bar, is both something I find meaningful and absolutely enjoy doing.

Former Candidate Stories

We have had some wonderful experiences working with a wide variety of individuals. Here are some thoughts from former candidates.

Matthew is extremely knowledgable about the California legal market.

AssociateOrange County, CA

Within a matter of just four days, I applied for a position through Ashley, interviewed for the position, and received an offer. Ashley was happy to provide her support and assistance throughout the negotiation process, too.

Litigation AssociateRegional CA firm, Los Angeles

Matthew's service was top notch, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

CounselLos Angeles

In every one of our interactions, Ashley was always genuinely supportive and strongly dedicated to finding me a job I loved... While other recruiters were non-responsive, evasive and rude when discussing my job prospects, Ashley maintained an open, candid dialogue with me about my chances of getting interviews or positions at the various firms I was interested in.

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation AssociateNational Firm, Silicon Valley

With Matthew's help, I had an offer within two months.

AssociateSilicon Valley

With the time and care that Matthew puts in, it feels as if you are his only (or most important!) client.

AssociateLos Angeles

After several discussions with Matthew, he knew exactly what type of job I was looking for, and he found (and secured an interview for) the perfect position in terms of experience, interest, and personal values.

Senior AssociateSan Francisco

Matthew is extremely communicative and detail oriented and prepared me for every step of the process.

AssociateRiverside

I ended up receiving an offer from a prestigious emerging companies practice in Silicon Valley. Without a doubt, I could not have landed this opportunity without Matthew’s assistance.

Former AssociateSilicon Valley

I felt more comfortable working with Matthew than any other recruiter in the past.

AssociateLos Angeles
+Read More

“Matthew was very helpful at every stage of my legal search. He was extremely knowledgeable about the California legal market and had great insight into many of the law firms who were seeking candidates. As a result, I was able to screen through many prospective law firms in a timely manner. I greatly appreciated his persistence in making inquiries to firms on my behalf. His interview preparation tips were essential and a key reason for my success in obtaining call-backs and an offer from the law firm I was most interested in. With his assistance, I ended up receiving an offer from a prestigious emerging companies practice in Silicon Valley. Without a doubt, I could not have landed this opportunity without Matthew’s assistance. I have recommended his services to several of my ex-colleagues and ex-law school classmates. I could not imagine using another recruiter to assist me with such an important search. I would highly recommend his services to any prospective candidate.”

–Corporate Associate, Silicon Valley 


“Bear with me, this is a long review because I am so incredibly grateful for how patient Ashley was in guiding me through the trying process of job searching and for how she is truly a champion of her clients. As a young attorney only a few years into her legal career, the decision to switch firms was an incredibly daunting one. I’d never worked with a recruiter before, but I’d heard doing so would either be the best move I made or incredibly demoralizing. Although I had only been looking for (maybe) a week, I had already heard about 5 different recruiters tell me I was making a terrible decision switching firms, as I was “too junior” and “too specialized” to make any moves. Although I knew that I was making the right decision, I was starting to panic about my prospects. Then, Ashley called! Ashley didn’t just ask me what positions I was interested in, look for the available positions that fit my description and then drop off if there weren’t any job openings that met my criteria (like the other recruiters). She looked at my resume, asked me detailed questions about my interests and experiences, analyzed what would be the most strategic way for me to pivot from one practice area to another based on my background and advised me on how best to communicate/demonstrate the transferability of my skills from one practice area to another. While other recruiters were non-responsive, evasive and rude when discussing my job prospects, Ashley maintained an open, candid dialogue with me about my chances of getting interviews or positions at the various firms I was interested in. Ashley always explained the pros and cons of applying to job postings I wasn’t necessarily qualified for and was very knowledgeable about the ways in which specific firms hire. She never pressured me to follow her advice or hustled for me any less if I applied to jobs independently rather than through her. This is already pretty lengthy, but I can’t say enough about how incredible my experience was. Ashley genuinely went through the process with me and sat with me on the phone while I overanalyzed an interview or a callback. I lost count of how many times I nervously called, texted or rapidly emailed asking how she thought an interview/callback went based on what I told her or expressing how I thought it went. Every time I did so, Ashley would give me informative, honest, humorous and encouraging responses. Never once did she seem exasperated or annoyed. Seriously, though. I once called her joking that I need a pep talk and she gave me one. If that’s not dedication to your client, I don’t know what is. In every one of our interactions, Ashley was always genuinely supportive and strongly dedicated to finding me a job I loved. Long story short, because of Ashley’s help and advocacy on my behalf, I am now an Associate at Fenwick & West, practicing in an area I love with some of the most brilliant people in Silicon Valley. She’s incredibly good at her job and her results speak for themselves.”

–Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Associate, National Firm, Silicon Valley 


“Matthew helped me focus my search and identified a number of great opportunities that matched my skill-set and interests. With Matthew’s help, I had interviews lined up within weeks, and an offer from a great firm in less than two months. It was a pleasure working with Matthew, and I definitely felt I could count on him for honest advice and accurate information about the firms to which I applied.”

–Litigation Associate, Silicon Valley


Working with Matthew was a wonderful experience. I greatly appreciated his attention to detail throughout the process, not just in his review of and revisions to my cover letter and resume, but in his help with preparing me for interviews. On top of all the truly valuable substantive assistance, Matthew followed up in ways that put him above and beyond any other recruiters, including checking in during and after each step of the process and congratulating me after my first day at the new job. With the time and care that Matthew puts in, it feels as if you are his only (or most important!) client.

– Associate, Los Angeles


After I took a long sabbatical to recharge and relocate my family, Matthew was tremendously valuable in transitioning my career from Southern California to Northern California. After several discussions with Matthew, he knew exactly what type of job I was looking for, and he found (and secured an interview for) the perfect position in terms of experience, interest, and personal values. While I had a competing offer from another top notch firm in the Bay Area, at the end of the day, I trusted Matthew’s guidance and made the right choice and cannot be happier. Highly recommended.

– Senior Associate, San Francisco


Working with Matthew and Above the Bar Legal Recruiting was an amazing experience. It took no time at all for him to help me find an amazing new position. I have been at the job Matthew helped me find for 6 months now and it is a perfect fit for me. Matthew is extremely communicative and detail oriented and prepared me for every step of the process. I would highly recommend anyone to work with him and Above the Bar Legal Recruiting.

– Associate, Riverside


I’ve worked with Matthew Pond in pursuing counsel opportunities in California. Matthew was very helpful at every stage of my legal search. He was extremely knowledgeable about the California legal market and had great insight into many of the law firms who were seeking candidates. As a result, I was able to screen through many prospective law firms in a timely manner. I greatly appreciated his persistence in making inquiries to firms on my behalf. His interview preparation tips were essential and a key reason for my success in obtaining call-backs and an offer from the law firm I was most interested in. With his assistance, I ended up receiving an offer from a prestigious emerging companies practice in Silicon Valley. Without a doubt, I could not have landed this opportunity without Matthew’s assistance. Matthew has successfully placed a few of my ex-colleagues and ex-law school classmates that I have referred to him. I would highly recommend his services to any prospective candidate.

– Former Associate, Silicon Valley


I felt more comfortable working with Matthew than any other recruiter in the past. He was great at listening to what I was looking for and trying to find a realistic and favorable fit. Great guy.

– Associate, Los Angeles

Ready to get started?    Contact ATBLR

Above and Beyond the Bar

Success is measured in many different ways. At ATBLR, kindness is key and the notion of giving back is paramount. If you are placed in a position a donation in your name will be made to one of the following service organizations, or one of your choosing.

Tell us your Story

ATBLR is ready to help you

925 N La Brea Ave – 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90038

info@atblr.com

(310) 968-5441

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