THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 141
Interview on 11.18.2021

Hosted By
Erik J. Olson

Featuring Attorney

Cary Levinson



Managing Partner of
Levinson & Capuano, LLC

About Cary Levinson

Cary Levinson is the Managing Partner at Levinson & Capuano, LLC in Lauderdale, Florida.

Cary is an active voice in the local legal community, serving on both the Technology Committee and the Social, Sports & Goodwill Committee of the Broward County Bar Association and serving as the Chair of the Marketing Committee for Voices for Children of Broward County. He was named as a Super Lawyer Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 as a result of his dedication to his clients and overall excellence in the legal profession. He is also involved with the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters 6 Degrees, and Rising Voices for Children of Broward County.

Learn from his expertise and what trends are helping grow his firm on this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast!

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Erik J. Olson:

What’s happening everybody? I am Eric J. Olson. I am your host today for this live episode of The Managing Partners podcast, where we interview America’s top managing partners about how they’re running their firms, how they’re growing their firms and how they’re keeping their case pipeline full. And today I have with me Cary Levinson. Hey Cary.

 

Cary Levinson:

Hey Erik. Thank you so much for having me today.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Well, I appreciate you making the time. So let me tell the audience a little bit about you. Cary is the co-managing partner of Levinson and Capuano, a business and family law firm located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cary is an experienced litigator, entrepreneur and community leader. Cary earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and his JD at Florida International University College of Law. There, Cary met his current partner and wife, Arielle Capuano. Together, they formed Levinson and Capuano LLC. Welcome to the show.

 

Cary Levinson:

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me and thank you so much for that thoughtful intro, I really appreciate it.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Well, thanks for being patient with me. We had to make sure we got the names right. Capuano.

 

Cary Levinson:

I appreciate it. Again, she’ll appreciate it too. Thank you.

 

Erik J. Olson:

No problem. Hey, just looking at your bio here. So a couple interesting things, in particular, the digital artists, let’s hear more about that.

 

Cary Levinson:

Oh yeah. I love Instagram, frankly. I guess I kind of do it, some political satire, some just general humor, I’d say I go for. It started, I’m a digital native, so I’ve been making websites and things on the internet since I was a little kid. I was really fortunate I grew up in a house where my dad ran a large business, so I had broadband and fastest speed internet and the best infrastructure essentially, a great toolkit to learn both business and arts, frankly. So I live in Fort Lauderdale, I live right off Las Olas. We have a really thriving art community here. So I like to spend a little bit of time balancing the lawyer stuff with some of the artist stuff and some of the media stuff, frankly, too. It’s just a lot more fun and it’s great to fill the cup.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Very cool. That’s awesome. I appreciate that background. What about more about you and your firm, if you would, can you tell us a little bit about you and what generally, what your firm does, the size, things like that?

 

Cary Levinson:

Yeah, well, like you said, I’m a co-managing partner with my current wife who I met in law school, Arielle. We started the firm in 2011. We had spent a little bit of time at a couple of smaller boutique firms before that. We launched Broward Legal and from there, everything kind of took off. We went viral for child support related content first, and we went viral for prenuptial agreement related content. And Google just started to kind of recognize us as having great credibility, so we expanded our content footprint into more family law and divorce, and it created a really solid stream of work. So yeah, traditionally we’ve been a divorce and family law firm, including child custody and prenuptial agreements, post-nups as well. But kind of during COVID, there’s been some such an influx of businesses coming down here, so we’ve gotten more into doing outside general council and just supporting the business community.

 

Cary Levinson:

We’d already supported so many families on the family law end, and so we developed a lot of trust in our community. My wife’s also the former Board Chair of Voice for Children of Broward County, which is a large community, a nonprofit organization that supports children in the dependency system around Broward County. We’re also leaders in the local Bar Association, so it’s a great community. Again, we’re browardlegal.com. We kind of feast on Google, frankly. That’s a lot of the secret sauce. That’s a lot of really what keeps our firm moving.

 

Erik J. Olson:

That’s really interesting. Yeah. I mean, certainly you can’t go wrong if Google approves of you and they will send a lot of traffic your way, but you’re doing so much more than that because, I took some notes here, community relationship management reputation, right? You can’t do amazing in Google if you don’t have some of those other things going on. And it seems like no single thing is the answer, it’s a lot of different things. But on the Google front, it sounds like that was an early win for you. Were you making a concerted effort at the time or now to put out content that you thought your ideal prospects, prospective clients were interested in or was this something you did like every day?

 

Cary Levinson:

Yeah, we did actually at the time, it was 2009, so the economy had kind of just kind of tanked at that point. Like I said, we went viral for child support related content first. There were a lot of people that couldn’t pay their child support at the time, so I had people calling me from all over the world essentially, that couldn’t afford their child support. So again, Google success, it’s not always exactly what you’re looking for, sometimes you have to whittle down what comes to you. But yeah, we were definitely putting out content that we thought would be really helpful. Right now, I’m pumping a lot of prenuptial agreement content, because we’re kind of coming into wedding season in South Florida. So yeah, you kind of give the people what they want and then Google helps amplify it. That definitely still works that way, that has not changed.

 

Erik J. Olson:

That’s great. What are some other ways that you go about getting new clients and especially since you have a couple of different practice areas, we talked about business law, family law, from your website I see you also do some personal injury. I don’t know if that’s a big one for you or not, but several different kinds of practices and I’m guessing you have different techniques for different practice areas when it comes to getting the attention of your clients?

 

Cary Levinson:

Well, fortunately, we did good work for a lot of the people that we’ve worked with, so we do get a lot of word of mouth. We’re both between the nonprofit and the community involvement that we have, also, I live right off Las Olas Boulevard, which is one of like the main commercial thoroughfares around here and there’s just endless networking opportunities. So yeah, everything compliments the other frankly, especially doing good work in your community for your clients, whether it’s through the business or the nonprofit side, everything that you do, there’s that Butterfly Effect. And we hear from people all the time that refer us work from other people that we helped. We hear from people all the time, that we even didn’t help referring us work, just people in other markets that managed to find us on directories and things of that nature. There’s so many opportunities, but yeah, like I said, kind of everything works off the other.

 

Erik J. Olson:

That’s great. Congratulations. We hear about referrals a lot on this podcast and, I’m a big fan of referrals, I love referrals, right? Everybody loves referrals. Is there any kind of system that you’ve put into place that would nurture creating referrals? Like do you ask for them explicitly, do you keep in touch with past clients? Is there anything like that, that you have in process right now?

 

Cary Levinson:

Yeah, I mean, we use a little email tickler system for some past clients. We’ve got our lawyer network. A lot of that frankly, I feel like I connect with a lot of the lawyer network through just social media, through both the firm and my personal social media. It’s, we’ve got Broward County’s larger economy than quite a few states. So just focusing on Broward County and just drilling into the community here, and again, just making an impact here. And again, a couple emails here and there, and some even frankly, the digital art stuff goes much further quite often than making a post about divorce or child support, the social media algorithms don’t necessarily always want to pick up on that stuff.

 

Cary Levinson:

So when it comes to staying fresh in people’s minds who refer me work, talking to you, talking to other media circles, we’ve got so many incredible local events. We’ve got the upcoming boat show, we’ve got Art Walk, we’ve got Winter Fest Boat Parade, we’ve got just so much to be involved in. So, you stay in the lawyer circles, you talk to the lawyers and you also get away from the lawyer circles and you talk to the broader community.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. I think that’s important, you’re right. Inside of the industry, outside of the industry. Yeah. That’s great. By the way, your website address, that must not have been easy to come by. Was it available when you bought it originally?

 

Cary Levinson:

The website address, it was available when we bought it originally, it was just a direct purchase from one of the providers. It wasn’t like something that I had to pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for, but after developing it all this time, it’s kind of incredible what we’ve been able to build it into. So yeah, it’s a great opportunity if you can find something like that in your market. There’s still so many markets that are underdeveloped, frankly. Talking to a lot of lawyers in other markets who are trying to kind of build something like what we’ve got and I try to provide them with some mentorship and really, you just put out that content and you try to give the market what it wants and Google will reward you generally.

 

Erik J. Olson:

You’re right. Yeah, if you do the things that Google says they would like you to do, they will reward you. But the actual name Broward Legal is great, it’s short, it’s easy to remember, obviously very pertinent to you, now I love it. It’s different too, because not a lot of law firms, it seems like to me at least, have chosen a domain name that is not their firm name and there’s pros and cons of that. But I think it’s great, because it’s again, short, memorable, it’s easy to say, people can repeat it, so that should aid in referrals. Have you found that to be the case?

 

Cary Levinson:

Absolutely. Yeah. Like I said, it kind of gives you a certain amount of credibility. It also gave me kind of the ability to be more of a managing partner, at Broward Legal, it’s not like my name only on there. A lot of lawyers have their domain as just their name. So the consumer reaches out, they expect to just be talking to that person. And I definitely try to personally be available to my clients, but at the same time, it’s important to develop a brand just away from me, especially if I’m trying to manage others to do work. So it’s essential, I would say in that respect and terms of management.

 

Erik J. Olson:

That’s excellent. What are some of your plans for the next couple of years?

 

Cary Levinson:

Well, I mean, we’d really like to continue to expand more into business law a little bit into real estate, a little bit more into personal injury. We’ve just worked with so many lawyers over the years and we’ve now kind of strengthened our network. We know who does a really great job when it comes to different areas of practice. This is South Florida, so we’ve seen some lawyers fall off, we’ve seen some attrition, we’ve seen some interesting developments, it’s again, South Florida. But at this point again, we know a great network of local attorneys who we can work hand in hand with to do a lot more diverse things than we were doing in the past, divorce and family law, it’s great to help the community for sure but over some time it can certainly burn you out a little bit, dealing with the complex nature of what we were dealing with. So diversifying and again, just doing a little bit more management is certainly the ticket at the moment.

 

Erik J. Olson:

So that’s an interesting concept if you’re cool with it, do you mind if we dive into a little bit like how you’re changing the focus?

 

Cary Levinson:

Sure.

 

Erik J. Olson:

So I would, like anything in life, pros and cons, right? So of either staying with a practice area or specialization for a long time or switching or maybe adding another one, but I’m guessing a lot of managing partners are kind of thinking about maybe adding another practice area, maybe switching practice areas completely, do you have any advice, tips and tricks about doing either one of those things?

 

Cary Levinson:

I mean, it’s hard to have the confidence to change, for sure. A lot of lawyers get stuck doing what they’re doing, they’re afraid to dilute their market. And frankly, I struggled with that myself for some time. It’s difficult to move away, especially when you’re acknowledged for being good at one thing. But at the same time again, there’s just too much opportunity to not continue to expand and to really pigeonhole yourself for one thing when we’re Broward Legal and really only focusing on divorce and family law, we were really under-utilizing our brand. So for us, it was a little bit easier because I knew that I could rely on the Broward Legal credibility. For others, it could be a little more difficult, you need to make sure that you can turn the tide about what you’re known for on the internet, and that takes a lot of work, that takes a lot of content. It takes a lot of different new media references, new directory references.

 

Cary Levinson:

I was all over the internet known for one thing. I’m not trying to necessarily move away from it entirely, but diversifying does mean again, I need to be putting other signals out there. What those signals should be really depends kind on what you’ve already got in terms of what your current footprint looks like. Again, there’s just so many new digital options to expand into. Even if your website really does only focus on one thing at this point, kind of, we’re finding if we do some social media advertising for other things, social, we just tag it for what we want to tag it and it has a lot less to do with what we’ve got going on organically. So it’s a good time to diversify frankly, with what you can do in terms of targeting specific markets and just tailoring content again, to new and expanding needs.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. I would agree. It is a good time, we’re coming out of a strange period with the Coronavirus kind of receding into history hopefully, but certainly things are coming back to normal and then your geographic location, it’s just amazing, Southern Florida, Miami area, Fort Lauderdale. I was down there a couple months ago, just booming. There’s so much going on. You mentioned real estate, I saw real estate projects left and right being built and I see it all the time on social media, the internet, all these real estate project usually happening in South Florida. It’s just one of those things I think where if you see opportunity, there’s a decision to make and the easy decision, which I think most people make is, do nothing. But sometimes that’s actually the riskiest decision, right? So, and maybe it’s not what you want to do. So congratulations on actually going forward and making the change when you saw was time to make the change.

 

Cary Levinson:

I appreciate it. You mentioned in my intro that I’m an avid Yogi, if it wasn’t for what I learned through yoga and through my wife, becoming a yoga teacher, that definitely helped to bring in the change and me being willing to be flexible. And I highly encourage burnt out lawyers to try yoga. It’ll make it so you’re a lot more comfortable just moving forward with things you need to move forward in life. It just helps you adopt a new view essentially of the problems that are in front of you. And just, it kind of tries to get you out of the stress that so many lawyers find themselves in every day. I open my email still to constant, every morning to new stressors from new potential clients that are sending me things and my voicemail, same deal. So, being able to get away from that for a bit and quiet your mind and focus on what really matters and the change that you can make to put yourself in a better place, it’s definitely worth the time, it’s worth the investment.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. I don’t practice yoga a lot, my wife does, I do it every once in a while, but I have a similar kind of outlet as you physically, I run. And so I’ll go on a four or five mile run and it’s 40, 45 minutes, something like that, and either I’m listening to nothing and I’m just in my head and I’m just kind of processing and flushing out the day or I’ll listen to an audio book, right? It’s that quiet time that you need to yourself to kind of like, the rest of the world can just wait and you’re focusing on yourself and you’re thinking through options. I find that kind of to be very valuable for me.

 

Cary Levinson:

It is. And a lot of lawyers just didn’t have that time, the billable hour doesn’t leave you with a lot of free time. And the prior office life that many lawyers were living, didn’t leave you with that free time. During COVID, a lot of us had to learn new ways to spend that extra time and again, it’s just really paid such great benefits investing in that time. It’s a great time, of course, also to, again kind of reflect on the market and reflect what the market needs and help kind of figure out where to go in terms of what to develop again, like being in fight or flight, which is what the clients really keep you in, doesn’t create good environment to be creative, which again, that’s why I try to be a digital artist too, and I try to get away from that kind of stuff, so that way I can be inspired.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Well, good for you. That was really interesting. I appreciate your time Cary. If someone would like to reach out to you and pick your brain, they want to find out more about yoga or they have maybe a referral for you, what is a good way to get in touch with you?

 

Cary Levinson:

You guys can certainly reach me at our website, browardlegal.com. Broward like the county, browardlegal.com. You can reach me on our phone at our office. It’s (954) 703-2110. You can find us on Instagram, Broward Legal. You can find me personally on Instagram if you’re interested in my digital art too. We’re all over social, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, a little bit more limited on YouTube I’d say, but I appreciate you today, hopefully this ends up on our YouTube at some point.

 

Erik J. Olson:

What is your personal Instagram?

 

Cary Levinson:

Personal Instagram is it’s C-A-R-L-E-V. It’s just my first three letters, first and last name, nothing too inventive there. Broward Legal I’ve got, but for myself personally, just CARLEV, basic branding for me.

 

Erik J. Olson:

It works. All right. Well, thanks so much. All right, everybody, if you would like to check out more episodes like this, where we interview America’s top managing partners, you can find that at arraylaw.com/podcast, our interviews are organized by practice area and by state, so you can drill down on finding exactly what you’re looking for. And if you are looking for digital marketing assistance, my firm Array Digital can be found online@arraylaw.com. If you go there, you can find out more about our services, which include website design, online advertising, search engine optimization, and social media. Right Cary, thanks so much.

 

Cary Levinson:

Thank you so much for having me man, have a great day.

 

Erik J. Olson:

Same-

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