56 minutes | Feb 8, 2021

#272: Nicole Clark, Co-Founder and CEO of Trellis, a Research Platform for Litigators That is Democratizing Access to the Law by Making State Trial Court Records and Legal Data More Accessible

Nicole Clark is the Co-Founder and CEO of Trellis, a state trial court legal research and analytics platform with AI-based insights on judges, opposing counsel, motions, dockets, and legal issues. They make state trial court data searchable and analyze it to give law firms insights into the way judges are ruling. Legal teams are able to "Google" search state trial court records and uncover key intelligence on opposing counsel, motions, rulings, dockets and other legal issues.

Prior to founding Trellis, Nicole Clark was a business litigation and labor and employment attorney who handled litigation in both state and federal courts. She regularly represented multinational corporations in claims ranging from high-profile trade secret disputes to complex class-action litigation. Frustrated by sending internal emails and collecting anecdotes on judges in order to make strategic case recommendations, she built Trellis to solve her own need for access to data, information, and analytics at the state trial court level. Prior to law school, Nicole attended Bard College, beginning her college coursework at the age of sixteen. She graduated with honors from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in Journalism, and received her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ. Nicole sat for the Bar Exam in California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and remains licensed to practice law in all three states.

Some of the Topics Covered by Nicole Clark in this Episode

  • What Trellis is
  • Nicole's background as a litigator and the pain point that led to her start Trellis
  • From validating the idea by using the tool as a litigator to building it into a company and eventually going full time with Trellis
  • Deciding on and going through the Techstars accelerator
  • Jumping directly from her law career into the new venture and accelerator
  • Fundraising, from a friends and family round to closing a seed round and how the company evolved during the process
  • How Nicole flipped her mindset around the friends and family round
  • What keeps Nicole going through the "no"s of fundraising
  • The importance of building a good team and how Nicole went about it for Trellis
  • The evolution of the business model for Trellis
  • Leveraging SEO and creating a freemium product
  • Allocating resources to content creation and creating evergreen content
  • How Nicole approaches expanding into new markets and how the service functions today
  • The future of Trellis
  • How Nicole views the competition
  • How Nicole structures her days

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