Letter from the CEO: Meet Bodhala’s New VP of Sales and Partnerships, Jim Dougherty

Just a few months ago I had the privilege to announce the appointment of our new CRO Russ Bley, who is hard at work finessing our sales function and driving our expansion.

We’re now building out support for Russ and the sales team with our latest hire, Jim Dougherty. Jim joins Bodhala as the Vice President of Sales and Partnerships, and brings a pedigree of technology, SaaS, and legal sales experience that is simply outstanding and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Being the curious guy I am, I spoke with Jim to find out more about his career path, what led him to Bodhala, and his professional and personal passions. What follows is a glimpse of our conversation:

Raj: What interested you in working at Bodhala?

Jim: I have known about Bodhala for years. During my tenure with Brightflag, I was aware that Bodhala was working on a technological solution that takes eBilling, legal spend, and cost savings to the next level.

Bodhala is unique and at the forefront of legal tech. It extracts, cleans, and structures data that was previously trapped in the legal billing system and, honestly, ignored. It is well known that when companies look to identify savings and efficiency across their organizations, legal spend is often left untouched.

I was impressed with how Bodhala is holding legal spend under the microscope. The company uses AI and machine learning to help legal departments shed light, through analytics, on how effectively they are managing their spend and law firm relationships.

No other platforms were doing this work. It is sophisticated, yet accessible and the data helps clients drive strategic decisions.

Bodhala also has a visionary leadership team and partners with some of the largest legal operations departments in insurance, finance, and private equity. Lastly, it possesses a world-class Client Success team dedicated to assisting their clients. How could I not want to be part of that winning combination?

Raj: How would you describe your career journey?

Jim: After graduating from the University of Connecticut, I immediately went into the value-creation business that is sales and fell in love with it. I was lucky enough to ride the wave of the tech boom from hardware (Dainippon Printing Co., Ltd.), to software (Netkey, Inc. and PKWARE), to SaaS (Occams Resources, PerformLine Inc., and Brightflag).

During this time I learned how to combine my interests in technology, sales, and continuous learning. I was able to package everything together to help companies sell their technology to clients in the enterprise, middle market, and small business markets.

But it wasn’t until my introduction to SaaS where I learned about my true passion and place in sales.

I started to recognize that I take a “transitional” approach to running a sales department. By this I mean that I built teams, improved processes, optimized sales methodologies, and helped grow the business. I accomplished this by constantly re-educating myself (and my peers), and repositioning our products and platforms. I pride myself in being able to properly grow SaaS sales teams in a scalable manner appropriate to the business.

I also found an interest in the legal industry, specifically in working with companies’ general counsels. As a salesman, I have the ability to identify and solve clients’ legal spending pain points. GCs and legal teams are often the last departments to adopt new technology, and so it’s refreshing to see them embrace innovative solutions.

Raj: What most excites you about joining the team?

Jim: A few things. I really appreciate Bodhala’s startup culture. In my last job, I was employee number 12, and when I left there were more than 130 people. Bodhala is around 30 people strong, and I’m excited to be aboard a company at the beginning of their journey. I anticipate learning a lot from the team and look forward to collaborating with my colleagues, clients, and partners.

I am also passionate about diversity, of which I know Bodhala shares a common value and interest.

Nowadays you hear a lot of hollow corporate talk about racism. Companies also establish diversity programs with no accountability, and organizations write blank checks to extract goodwill from their employees and customers.

The great part is that Bodhala has the ability to actually do something about it. We’re currently developing solutions for our clients to unearth data from their outside counsel about the diversity of their attorneys. There is a direct correlation between the lack of diversity at law firms and increased billing, and soon clients will be able to hold their law firms more accountable.

Raj: What is something about yourself that most people don’t know about?

Jim: I have a strong passion for sailing. I grew up as an avid sailor, as it has been in my blood since I was a child. 

I believe my affinity for sailing also ties well with my personal and professional personality. Pardon the pun, but most people find me “even-keeled” and collaborative.

And yes, I know that was a dad joke—I can’t help it. I am a proud father of two and live with my wife and family, ironically, in a landlocked part of Connecticut. But I’m only 12 miles from the water, and I take every chance I can to get out there.

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