About Us


Michelle Madere Donnelly - Owner

Michelle Madere Donnelly, after graduating from LSU, began her recruiting career with an IT/Tech search firm in New Orleans. She joined Shuart’s attorney division in 2005, and quickly became a recruiter whose attention to detail and discernment made her an integral part of the team. When an opportunity arose to go in house to join a global manufacturing organization, she made the decision to expand her skill set in helping develop the company’s recruiting department and policies. She worked closely with key executives during her tenure to attract and retain top talent during the company’s growth. Michelle rejoins Shuart with extensive experience in management and legal and corporate recruiting to assume the leadership of the company and guide it into the future. “It has been rewarding to see that many of the associates I placed when I was with Shuart previously are now partners, and I get to work with them again now as clients! There have been many changes in the legal profession, and I look forward to helping firms and corporate legal departments solve the challenges they face in recruiting and retaining talent.” 

Main: 504.836.7595 | Direct: 504.708.1029 | Email: Michelle.Donnelly@Shuart.com


Darnell Shuart - Founder

Darnell Shuart spent 8 years at one of New Orleans’ largest law firms as a paralegal before switching careers and utilizing her legal experience with two national and international staffing companies. She founded Shuart & Associates in 1989 as one of the few search firms in the region devoted strictly to legal placements. Under her leadership, and with the help of several key recruiters over the years, the company expanded to offer temporary staffing, an attorney search division, and an eDiscovery project division. Darnell has been an active member of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants since 1993 and served on its Board of Directors. Over the years she has placed thousands of talented candidates in various direct hire and contract positions throughout the Gulf South. Many of her clients consider her a trusted advisor in guiding their careers and for firm hiring strategies. In addition to her recruiting career, Darnell is a 400-hour certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master. “I am truly humbled when I look back, and excited as I look forward.” 

Main: 504.836.7595 | Direct: 504.836.7530 | Email: Darnell.Shuart@Shuart.com


Success in the legal profession is based on one's ability to think strategically and perceptively, communicate effectively, and be an attentive listener. Today, in a world of instant information, developing relationships can get lost. Our unique philosophy serves our clients well, achieving long-lasting results. These relationships, built on mutual respect and understanding, span our 30-year history, and are a testament to our agile, proactive approach. Visit the Employers and Job Seekers pages to learn more about our method.

We are proud members of NALSC, an organization that is “committed to the highest ethical standards” in legal recruitment. Founded in 1984, it now has 200 members (law firms and recruiting firms alike) from the US and further afield. A glance at some of the names on this list shows a veritable who’s who of the legal recruiting industry and BigLaw. Please see the NALSC Code of Ethics for the policies Shuart adheres to.



Successful Searches

We successfully completed 99% of searches.

Search Completion

Searches were completed on average in 111 days with 47% completed in 90 days or fewer.

Client Offers

Clients made offers after interviewing an average of 4 candidates.

Client Referrals

100% of our new clients have come from referrals.

Client Recommendations

96% of our clients say they would be likely/very likely to recommend us.


92% of our clients say they would be likely/very likely to retain us again.