A look inside the culture at LawIQ
Since 2015, the team at LawIQ has been hard at work advancing the energy industry through technology. Challenging outdated methodologies, LawIQ has disrupted a primarily opinion-based domain through the introduction of a SaaS product that supplies regulatory and legal intelligence for the energy industry based in data analytics.
Using its proprietary data technology, LawIQ helps Fortune 100 companies make informed, objective decisions grounded in data.
The diverse, growing startup was assembled by founders and U.S. Navy veterans Chip Moldenhauer and Terry MacGregor. With years of experience as a former energy regulatory attorney and a software and analytics engineer in the Intelligence community, respectively, they saw “an ocean of opportunity” to create a more efficient, data-driven solution to democratize an industry with complex global implications.
Today, the team works between its headquarters in the heart of D.C. and an office in Hunt Valley, MD. Employees are hired for their expertise — from software engineers to attorneys, data scientists and energy analysts — but valued for their insatiable curiosity, commitment to customers, and desire to do whatever is needed in order to propel the company forward.
But just in case you were starting to get the idea that LawIQ was purely business, it’s worth noting the undercurrent of irreverence buzzing throughout the team. So during the moments when they’re not focused on their efforts to advance the energy industry, they enjoy each other’s company with what very quickly can be identified as their signature sense of humor.
How would you describe what makes LawIQ unique:
We’re a bit of a hybrid company in that we bring the best of Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. together. We marry that software, data and tech mentality with a deep expertise usually found in close proximity to government. It is an interesting intersection - a unique for-profit energy technology business in the District contributing to better relations between regulators and infrastructure developers.
Replacing opinions and positions with data and evidence leads to a more transparent process between all stakeholders.
What is the mission behind the work you do at LawIQ?
Energy is the world’s largest industry and it generates a lot of conflict. Anything that can better balance access to energy around the world, can also is some ways promote peace. We want to help the energy industry build capacity, and bolster the United States’ ability to be independent in that regard, which leads to more options in how we engage geopolitically.
A few of us, including our founders, served in the military. The work we’re now doing crosses over into what a lot of people come to D.C. to do: to serve the greater good.
What is the culture like at LawIQ?
We have a very collaborative culture. We’re still small enough that everyone has a vote in big decisions, such as how we move forward and who we hire. That may change as we grow, but we’ll work hard to stay flat.
We’re incredibly customer-centric — there’s no solution proposed without customer input, which requires developing and maintaining great relationships with our diverse customer base. Our decisions cross through a lot of teams, so everyone is required to understand the entire matrix of what we do. We take pride in our depth of expertise and love seeing it benefit to our customers.
We are also a bit contrarian. We’re not afraid to have non-mainstream viewpoints. Even if it’s not what the customer wants to hear, we’ll put out and defend ideas that we believe will make a big impact for our them.
In terms of work style, employees are trusted with a tremendous amount of responsibility and ownership. We do the opposite of micromanage. Additionally, folks are offered a lot of flexibility between their work and home lives, and can work from home when needed.
What do you look for in job candidates?
We are looking for people who are curious self-starters, internally-driven, confident and who think like an owner. People who don’t want to just stay in their lane.
We want people with a deep functional expertise, but also a general curiosity about working across other functions of the company. For instance, a software engineer who doesn’t mind getting in front of a customer to present the tech they’ve built. All of our roles support customers in one way or another, so it’s important that candidates are enthusiastic about that.
Ultimately, an ideal candidate wants to understand all aspects of our business, the industry and our larger purpose. What our industry is doing is important. We want you to care about the global implications.
What kinds of tech skills do you expect candidates to have?
Being in this field, a lot of our tools and technology are made around data science, from text extraction to data modeling to running machine learning models. The tools, software techniques and user interfaces we utilize are all cutting edge.
Skills that we hope candidates will have are:
- Software Engineers: experience with Python, scalable APIs using AWS, cloud computing
- Data Science: experience with statistical modeling and machine learning technology for predictive models and with data visualization languages and tools like R and associated libraries.
We are also committed to giving our employees opportunities to create their own custom learning paths, so we facilitate educational opportunities as much as possible via tools like Linkedin Learning, and with company offsites. Employees are also welcome to try out new tech and introduce it to the team.
Terry MacGregorCTO & Co-founder
“The bottom line is that you have the opportunity to make a tremendous impact in a small company and will learn a lot. You’ll be exposed to unique problems and issues, and have a greater chance for success than at an enterprise company. There’s a lot of dynamic movement to be made here.”
Ewelina CzaplaDirector of Regulatory Analysis
“We’ve been fortunate to find a niche in this sector where we can bring people data driven answers. There's a lot of preconceived notions in this industry. Things have ‘been done this way forever.’ But we offer solutions they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Answers they wouldn’t otherwise find. We’re meeting a need they didn’t even know they had. So there’s a lot of value on a personal level. When you get to engage day to day, it’s fun in that way.”
Christian HoganLead Software Engineer
“We take a lot of pride in our work and push the envelope. We do that on the technical side, but also on the legal side. They are some of the best experts in the world working in our niche. The culture is driven by that: we’re hardworking, focused and have high standards.”