Ryder Smith
San Francisco Legal Recruiters




At Ryder Smith we are devoted to finding our clients qualified attorney candidates quickly, our focus is also on making the right placement. 

Our diligence, professionalism, and knowledge of the legal market are unmatched, and we are dedicated to making the placement process a seamless one, for clients and candidates alike.

Ryder Smith Legal Search believes in giving back to the community, and a portion of the Company’s profits are donated to philanthropic organizations.


Get in touch

If you’re an attorney looking for a new opportunity or a law firm or company looking for the right attorney to grow your practice then please get in touch, we can help.

Find a time to Chat ▸






Lee Kuhn

Lee Kuhn founded Ryder Smith Legal Search after working at a reputable California legal placement agency for many years. There, she headed up the agency's San Francisco office, and placed attorneys in-house and with law firms -- both nationally and internationally. Prior to entering the search business, she practiced employment law at two large international law firms in California. She earned her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law, and graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College. 

During her free time, Lee works as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (SFCASA) for a child in the foster care system and is a director of a local animal rescue organization.



Duke University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2002

Dartmouth College
B.A., Psychology, 1998


Email: lee@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 415.359.5111




Samantha Johnston

Samantha Johnston earned her MBA in 2003 from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she served on the Wharton Graduate Association Executive Council. She earned her B.A. from Hamilton College. Prior to legal recruiting, Samantha led an extensive marketing and consulting career at both start-up companies and leading consumer packaged goods companies including E & J Gallo Winery and Nestlé USA.

In her downtime, Samantha is passionate about sports and is an avid runner and skier. She also enjoys travel and contemporary art.



University of Pennsylvania
MBA, 2003

Hamilton College
B.A., History, 1995


Email: samantha@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 213.537.9362




Christina Woo

Christina Woo earned her MBA in 1999 from Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration and graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to legal recruiting, Christina was a Wall Street analyst at Morgan Stanley, a strategy consultant in Bain & Company's San Francisco and Hong Kong offices, and a recruiter with BCG. Christina enjoys marathon running, cheering for the Tar Heels during basketball season, and attempting to find the perfect bowl of pho. 



Harvard University
MBA, 1999

University of California, Berkeley
B.A., 1999


Email: christina@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 415.994.4979




Katie Wharton

Katie assists attorney candidates with searches in the major markets of both Northern and Southern California including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. She is also available for searches in out-of-state markets. Prior to legal recruiting, Katie had a career in investment management with firms in New York City and San Francisco where she worked with both institutional and private clients. She also spent two seasons with the U.S. Forest Service as a helitack wildland firefighter. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys bicycle touring, cross-training, watching Scandal, and visiting her niece and nephews on the east coast. 



University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Mass Communications


Email: katie@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 323.206.5116




Namita Dilawri

Namita began her legal career as a securities attorney while tutoring examinees for the California Bar Exam. Prior to handling permanent placements, Namita worked as a senior recruiter for a national legal staffing company, and has over 9 years of recruiting experience. Namita received her J.D. from Lewis and Clark School of Law, and B.A. from the University of California, San Diego (Honors). She speaks German and in her free-time, she enjoys practicing yoga, painting, traveling, and hospice volunteer work. 



Lewis & Clark Law School
Juris Doctor, 2003

University of California, San Diego
B.A., Political Science


Email: namita@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 415.271.1925




Amanda Wharton

Amanda specializes in the placement of attorneys at law firms of all sizes in multiple practice areas. She also works on in-house searches, especially in the areas of employment, licensing and corporate law. Prior to joining Ryder Smith Legal Search, Amanda was a director at a national attorney search firm where she focused on attorney recruitment in all practice areas for the California market and a number of other U.S. markets, such as New York. Earlier, Amanda was an executive in the retail industry for over a decade at several top retail companies including Toys"R"Us and Barnes & Noble. Amanda holds an MBA in finance from Fordham University and a B.S. in biology from the University of Arizona where she was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society.

In her free time, she enjoys giving back. She has served as a member of Monroe College's MBA advisory board. She has also volunteered in Kenya, Africa at Nairobi Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).



Fordham University
MBA, 2001

University of Arizona
B.S. in biology, 1996


Email: amanda@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 415.463.7389




Mary Hollendoner

Prior to legal recruiting, Mary was an executive at Google holding various positions in Operations and Finance over 10 years. She has also worked as a management consultant in Boston, and in marketing analytics in New York. She earned her Masters in Business Administration from UCLA Anderson, where she graduated as a Dean’s Scholar at the top of her class. She completed her undergraduate work in Mathematics at Dartmouth College.

Mary enjoys rock climbing in Yosemite and traveling internationally with her husband and 7-year-old daughter.



UCLA Anderson School of Management
MBA, 2007

Dartmouth College
B.A., Mathematics, 1998


Email: mary@rydersmithlegal.com

Phone: 415.871.6279