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|Lauren Keys • 5/11/16|
The Short Version: Elena Albamonte’s fun dating site, Lawyers in Love, aims to help legal professionals — with busy and daunting work lives and who prefer analytical debates to small talk — find like-minded individuals. Starting with the similarity in the work they do, users on the site are able to more quickly feel a connection with their matches and spend less time with icebreakers or explaining their schedules.
Most people have an immediate image pop into their mind when they hear the word lawyer. From a scene in “Law and Order” to something as simple as dollar signs, legal professionals deal with prejudice, rightful or not, simply because of their line of work.
The American Bar Association asked its readers what it was like to date as a lawyer, and the responses were resoundingly negative: people being left mid-date after dropping the “L-word” or being introduced as their title rather than their name.
It can be a challenge to find someone who understands the deadlines and workload of the legal system, not to mention finding someone to date the kind of people who are drawn to legal work.
That was the experience Elena Albamonte discovered when she ventured to Match years ago to try online dating.
“I eventually met a lawyer on Match and it just seemed like we had a lot more in common,” Elena said.
From these humble beginnings, the seed of an idea for Lawyers in Love took root in Elena’s mind. She partnered with a web developer in 2005 to create a dating site that would allow anyone in the legal profession to find another lawyer, paralegal, or law student.
The Lawyers in Love site is free, and Elena still personally reviews each applicant to weed out spammers, non-legal system workers, or anyone insincere.
There are more than 1.3 million people working in the field of law, not including those soon-to-be graduates of law-related programs across the U.S., so a dating site catering to this niche market seemed like a no-brainer to Elena.
“You don’t always have the time to go out, and dating someone from your office isn’t an option,” Elena described her dating woes.
In discussing her own experience as a lawyer trying to date, Elena said that meeting someone who finally got it (understood her work and its jargon, didn’t mistake her confidence for arrogance, had similar lengthy work hours) just made everything go so much smoother on their dates.
After such a positive experience, she continued to seek out legal professionals, and all of those dates ended up better than anyone she happened to meet in a random profession.
The concept of Lawyers in Love was so simple, it was brilliant. Elena purchased the domain and partnered with a developer to flesh out her idea. She provided the creative concepts behind the design, layout, and profile buildout, while he helped code it into existence.
Eleven years ago, Elena launched her site, and it has continued to be at the forefront of lawyer dating ever since.
The vision of the site is well represented by its logo — a sexy Lady Justice peeking out from behind her blindfold.
“Lawyers have so much serious stuff going on,” Elena said. “I wanted the site to be fun and help people find a better match.”
When people meet on her site, she said they feel more comfortable because they already know their matches will have something in common with them. Profession, work-life balance, free time, and interests are all part of the site’s dating profile.
“Having those big factors already out in the open really helps users find a person more properly matched to them,” Elena asserted.
Lawyers in Love functions as a typical dating site does, with features to sort by such as location, area of practice, and even more creative descriptors such as the Supreme Court Justice you most identify with (Are you more of a John Roberts, loyal and earnest, or a Sonia Sotomayor, trendy and liberal?).
There are fun legal Easter eggs all throughout the profile options including “powdered wig” as a hair description and “9th Circuit” (listed after “anarchist”) as a political leaning choice.
While Lawyers in Love allows law students to register, the majority of the users on the site are older, between 30 and 50 years old, and everyone on the site is based in the United States.
One of Elena’s goals is to grow the site’s community, currently comprised of 56% female and 44% male users.
For now, Elena can be proud that Lawyers in Love provides an easy way for busy legal professionals to get to meet, flirt, and build relationships with like-minded people on their own schedule.
“You know, it’s really just a way to help people out and let them have some fun,” she said.