Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm
Legal Placement Services has tripled its revenues in the past three years and is planning to move from downtown Milwaukee to larger space in West Allis early next year.
The company offers temporary and permanent placement services, connecting attorneys and legal workers with law firms and Fortune 100 companies that have in-house legal departments.
George and Kris Bogdanovich, a husband-and-wife team, own and operate the company. George serves as chairman and chief executive officer, while Kris serves as president of Legal Placement Services and its sister company, Personnel Specialists Ltd. Personnel Specialists is a traditional temporary and permanent staffing company that deals with clerical and office staff.
Most of the revenue growth has come from Legal Placement Services.
In January, both companies will move to about 4,500 square feet of space in the Summit Place office complex, 6737 W. Washington St., West Allis. Summit Place has been developed in the former Allis Chalmers foundry.
Both Kris and George say the firms are out of room in their 2,000 square feet of space at their current offices at 740 N. Plankinton Ave., in downtown Milwaukee. The new offices at Summit will enable the companies to double their 10-employee staff to 2o over the next five years, George said.
"I think we could grow (revenues) another $1.5 million with the employees we have," George said.
The move will also make Personnel Specialists Ltd. more convenient to its candidates who are seeking temporary or permanent placement, Kris said.
Legal Placement Services was started in 1979 by two attorneys and a paralegal who were looking to tap into the newly created temporary and permanent employee placement service market. Kris’ mother, Mari Kvam, purchased the company in 1980.
Kris bought the company in 1995 from her mother. Kris worked at the company part-time when her children were in school and started working there full-time after she bought the company.
George joined her in April 2002 after he sold his interest in Rock Transfer and Storage Inc., a local trucking firm. When he helped start RTS, the company was based in the former Allis Chalmers foundry, making the move to Summit Place a homecoming of sorts.
George and Kris said the company has been able to grow because it targets a niche market on the national level and because it is working with a more diverse group of clients.
"When a Fortune 50 (or 100) company needs a specialized attorney, we can find that specialized attorney," George said. "We look all over the country. That’s where a lot of our growth has been."
In the past three years, Legal Placement Services and Personnel Specialists Ltd. have brought on several new employees, enhancing the business development department that serves both companies.
"We got really good in the Milwaukee area, and then it started taking off in the national in-house market," said Joseph Haas, business development executive and employment counselor for the companies. "We started with one Fortune 50 company and from there it was a landslide."
The service has been embraced by many in the legal field because large corporations receive so many job applications when they post a job opening on the national level, Kris and George said.
Some of those clients, who Kris and George declined to identify, are large companies that routinely receive more than 1,000 applications for open positions in their legal departments. Legal Placement Services routinely sifts through large numbers of resumes to find the top two or three candidates, which they bring to their clients.
"We start with a list of 10 or 20, and we’ll screen them with background checks and check references," Kris said. "We try to come up with the top two or three. This is our full-time job. When you’re a company, you’re there to run the company, not to look for full-time employees."
Legal Placement Services is paid the equivalent of a portion of the employee’s salary for one year. The company that hires the attorney, paralegal or other employee pays Legal Placement Services’ fees.
Legal Placement Services routinely receives calls, e-mails and faxes from attorneys from Wisconsin or other cities in the Midwest who have spent several years working in large cities on the East or West coasts and are looking to move back home, George said.
Legal Placement Services can help those employees by matching them with Midwestern companies looking for attorneys.
"We can take them and market them to our clients – it’s like matchmaking for our clients," George said. "Manpower (Inc.) and Kelly (Services Inc.), they don’t have that niche. We’re the melting pot for people looking to get home or change careers (in the legal field). We have that niche."
Personnel Specialists Ltd. has been working with several of the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina who are living temporarily at the Tommy Thompson Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park. George said one of his clients, whom he declined to name, has agreed to temporarily hire as many as five or six of those workers. The displaced workers will be able to do temporary clerical and office work, George said.
George said community service is part of his mission of having the companies.
"We said ‘Let’s help these people however we can,’" he said. "This will be a 40-hour-per-week job for at least a couple of months. We’re just trying to do our part."