THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 152
Interview on 12.29.2021

Hosted By
Erik J. Olson

Featuring Attorney

Davey Jones



Managing Partner of
Jones Law Firm

About Davey Jones

Davey Jones is the Managing Partner at Jones Law Firm in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Since 2009, Davey served the people of Alexandria and surrounding areas to seek justice and right the wrongs inflicted against them. He believe that the practice of law is an honor, not a privilege. He keep his firm and caseload small so that he can deeply know and understand all aspects of every case he take on. It is an honor to be able to aid clients through difficult and trying times – and to put his full focus on what’s most important to them in their lives right now.

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:
Hey, everybody. I am Erik J. Olson. I’m the CEO of Array Digital, a digital marketing agency that focuses exclusively on law firms. And we are recording a live episode for the Managing Partners Podcast. In this podcast series, we interview America’s top managing partners to find out how they started, how they’re growing, and how they keep their case pipeline full. And today I have with me, Davey Jones. Hey, Davey. How are you doing?

Davey Jones:
I’m doing very well. Thanks for having me.

Erik J. Olson:
Well, thanks for making the time. Let me tell the audience a little bit about you. So Davey Jones is married with two daughters, an active Catholic, and a solo practitioner of 13 years. Their specialties are general civil litigation with a focus on domestic law. Welcome to the podcast.

Davey Jones:
I appreciate it.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. Again, thanks for making the time. If you would, tell the audience a little bit more about yourself and your firm.

Davey Jones:
Okay. I was born and raised here in Alexandria, where I’ve migrated back to begin this practice. Mother, father, two younger siblings, so normal childhood. Left town for college, obviously, and then law school, and then found the first job available back in Alexandria and kind of got stuck here. But it’s worked out. I’ve been very blessed and so practices-

Erik J. Olson:
Back home.

Davey Jones:
Back home, right back to where I started. But we’ve been very fortunate. It’s a good little town. About 60,000 people, so small enough to be home, but not big city life, anything like that. I guess I decided to become a lawyer because my family has just about every other profession covered, but we’ve never had a lawyer in the family. So I consider myself a traditionalist and very family oriented, so I thought that being a lawyer would be some mechanism to let me give back to my family. And thankfully, that’s not been necessary and was more or less just a kind of a pipe dream for me growing up. But it turned into a career, so it’s worked out.

Erik J. Olson:
That’s awesome. You put a check in the lawyer checkbox, right?

Davey Jones:
That’s right.

Erik J. Olson:
And you got the other investments covered now.

Davey Jones:
That’s right. Yeah. So I’m here if they ever need, but hopefully never do.

Erik J. Olson:
How big of an area do you service? Is it Alexandria and the outskirts, or the entire state?

Davey Jones:
We’re parishes here instead of counties. So typically, I’ll stick to Rapides Parish, where Alexandria is located, but that’s only recently. My practice has grown probably more than I expected to be able to handle, so I’ve been able to be more selective with my cases and my clients. So instead of traveling, the nearest district courthouse is 30 minutes away in our neighboring parish. So in the last, probably, three years, I’ve really trimmed it down to only Rapides Parish cases, which is a big parish, big geographic parish, but not a very big populated parish. So to specifically answer your question, central Louisiana would be my demographic, but more recently it’s been tailored just to Rapides Parish.

Erik J. Olson:
Okay. As far as the kinds of clients that you work with, can you kind of describe the situations that they’re in and why they would reach out to you?

Davey Jones:
Sure. My primary focus has accidentally become domestic law, so divorces and custody. Certainly didn’t choose that, it chose me. That’s every kind of demographic. I mean, everybody goes through family problems. Unfortunately, the divorces in our country are rising and only getting worse. So that, again, unfortunately creates good business for us. So yeah, it’s all types of people, all types of problems. If these walls could talk, you know? Most of the lawyers that we deal with on a regular basis in Alexandria, it’s kind of a tight knit circle. We’ve got some very friendly cordial attorneys for the most part in our area. And we deal with each other over and over again, weekly, so we have to understand and deal with each other professionally and courteously. And we do. But when we talk, it almost always devolves into, “Man, we really got to write a book. We should all come together and write a book about just the crazy cases that we deal with in divorce court. It surely would be a top seller.”

Erik J. Olson:
We were chit-chatting before we hit record about social media, and we interviewed a lawyer on the podcast who is probably in his sixties and very much into TikTok, has 500,000 followers-

Davey Jones:
Cool.

Erik J. Olson:
.. and he tells stories. He doesn’t reveal all the details, of course.

Davey Jones:
Right, right. Right.

Erik J. Olson:
He keeps it confidential. But he tells the stories, and then he asks people’s opinion on what they think the outcome should be.

Davey Jones:
Oh my gosh.

Erik J. Olson:
Really interesting. Yeah.

Davey Jones:
Yeah, that is kind of interesting. That’s a [crosstalk 00:04:58] idea.

Erik J. Olson:
Very big following.

Davey Jones:
Nice, yeah.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah, that’s-

Davey Jones:
I bet people are interested in the drama of it, huh?

Erik J. Olson:
Absolutely. My wife is addicted to Judge Judy and The People’s Court.

Davey Jones:
Right.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. It’s interesting. It’s what TV and movies are made of. So yeah, those stories are interesting.

Davey Jones:
Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:
It probably would make a very good book, but certainly good for social media too. Yeah.

Davey Jones:
No doubt about it.

Erik J. Olson:
The second question is about, how do you go about getting clients? I bet that would actually help a lot, if you told us stories.

Davey Jones:
Yeah, it would. Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah.

Davey Jones:
No doubt about it. Yeah. And even producing some of the outcomes would probably entice some potential client calls. Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. How do you go about it?

Davey Jones:
I don’t know if I’ve got that in me though. Telling my clients stories is… Obviously, you can do it confidentially.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah.

Davey Jones:
But man, it would probably be able to be figured out, so that’s probably a bad idea in a small town.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. And I don’t know, honestly, if it’s his clients or maybe people that have called in or news stories. It may be more along the latter.

Davey Jones:
True.

Erik J. Olson:
Not national class, but stories that have to do with his practice area.

Davey Jones:
Yeah, yeah.

Erik J. Olson:
But yeah, what are some different ways that you go about getting clients?

Davey Jones:
Yeah. So I anticipated this question. I gave it a lot of thought. I think the best way to generate clients is by, obviously, doing good work. You got to be a good lawyer and produce a good product. But just as importantly, I think you got to treat people right. So I’ve been doing it now 13 ish years, and my largest source of client intake is fortunately repeat business, but referrals. So clients that are happy with what I’ve produced and the way that I’ve treated them are sending all of their friends and family to me. So that’s been the biggest source.

Davey Jones:
And then one of the kind of complimentary cases that I get, not often, but it does happen is when the opposing party hires me for some future litigation. To me, that’s just a huge compliment that I’ve done such a good job against them that they were impressed enough to hire me for something later. And then doing good work in the courthouse has been a good source of clients too, because the clerks and the judges won’t refer to lawyers individually, but their staff can. So you treat people properly in the courtroom, the law clerks and the minute clerks, and then they’ll give your name out. So that’s a big deal in the divorce world, because they get people walking in or cold calls just to the judge’s office, people just trying to figure out where to go and what to do. So the referral network is definitely the most important.

Davey Jones:
Short of that, social media has, obviously, become a huge income source. I have a company that has been handling my marketing for, I guess, three years now. And they’re fantastic and build me a new website and have been doing that, my SEO. So getting me to the top of the Google ranks for just generic searches for divorce lawyer is easily my second, if not one A and one B source of client intake.

Davey Jones:
And we’re trying to push that further to personal injury rather than domestic law, because divorce work kind of sucks. There aren’t a whole lot of happy divorce lawyers. And then everybody wants a piece of the personal injury pie, but… We’ve got big advertisers. I’m sure where you are in Virginia as well. But Louisiana is just stocked full of lawyers that spend millions of dollars a year on billboards and TV and radio spots and hiring Saints football players as a sponsor. I can’t compete with that type of advertising budget, so we’re trying to get the SEO to produce Google results for personal injury cases.

Erik J. Olson:
I think that’s very smart. I have gone to your website. I’ve looked at your SEO, I think it’s good. But I do think that it’s very smart to be focusing on search engine optimization versus advertising because there’s the concept of the red ocean, or the blue ocean. And certainly when it comes to advertising for some very competitive practice areas like personal injury, it can be very expensive, right?

Davey Jones:
Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:
And then the brand awareness campaigns, like you said, billboards, TV, radio, things of that, I mean, that takes it to a whole new level.

Davey Jones:
And it-

Erik J. Olson:
So very, very competitive. And it [crosstalk 00:09:26].

Davey Jones:
[crosstalk 00:09:27] I don’t want my name out there with one of those catchy slogans. But apparently, that works. I’m not knocking it for the guys that it works for. Just not the kind of reputation I want to build. There are certainly things that rhyme with Jones that would be appropriate for a billboard. I just never wanted to entertain that.

Erik J. Olson:
I got you. Yeah. And it seems like the strategy, when it comes to the mass marketing, is kind of shock and awe, right?

Davey Jones:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Erik J. Olson:
Get attention. But people probably won’t call because of those billboards, whatnot, but then when they get on Google and they search the ads there, the SEO’s there, and they remember, right?

Davey Jones:
That’s right. That’s right.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. So it can all make sense together, but yeah, it is a difficult one, personal injury, just because there is so much money there. That’s interesting that you’re moving into that. Okay. So that’s great. So referrals, yeah. Referrals are great. And really, that’s interesting how you mentioned the court staff, how they can make referrals, although the judges can’t. And something else you said is basically, your reputation precedes you.

Davey Jones:
Right.

Erik J. Olson:
So it’s incredibly important to make sure that you operate with integrity and uphold that reputation, right?

Davey Jones:
Yeah. Yeah. And I think what really builds that is I make sure to build realistic expectations from our clients. From the very beginning, even with initial consults, I try to feed them the truth and what I can try and predict might happen in the courtroom. And I very intentionally say might because I can never offer them guarantees, obviously, for what a judge might decide. So I think building realistic expectations through the beginning and all throughout the representation is the best start. But at the same time, guaranteeing my work product, guaranteeing my professionalism in my organization and my preparedness. So I can promise that, and when I produce that, hopefully they’re happy with what I’ve done. And even if we lose the case, so I think in custody worlds, everyone loses, and I tell clients that as well. But even if we don’t get the results that they hope for, they can at least be happy with my production and still send me referrals.

Erik J. Olson:
Nice. Nice. I love that. That’s great. Cool. So we talked a little bit about marketing. We’re a digital marketing agency, so we’re always interested to find out what seems to be working. And also, what are some things that haven’t worked for you that you stopped doing?

Davey Jones:
Sure. TV. I put a little bit of money into TV. We made two or three different commercials, and I got zero production from it, zero. And we track all of the calls that come in, for the most part, how they got my name and why they called, that kind of thing. And I didn’t get a single person that said they saw me on TV. A lot of friends that said they saw me on TV, you know?

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah, yeah.

Davey Jones:
But it didn’t produce any business. And for the same reason, I never pulled the trigger on any radio advertising. And I guess it’s going to depend on the locations for the different search engine optimization programs. Because here, for example, getting to the top of Google ranks for divorce law was pretty easy, at least from my novice standpoint of what SEO looks like. Getting to the top on personal injury has been impossible, so I’m spending a lot of time and money on that personal injury, because I prefer those cases.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah.

Davey Jones:
But it’s taking a lot of time even to get into the off topic searches. But somebody types in personal injury lawyer, Alexandria, Louisiana, they might find me, but probably not. It’s going to take someone to type something odd, you know?

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah.

Davey Jones:
That really hits a trigger on my page or my Facebook, something like that, to get me into the top of those searches. So I think as far as budgeting goes for Google type searches, you got to know your market, know your competitors, and, I think, decide what’s worth spending for that production, return on investment.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah, I completely agree. I have personal experience with print advertisements. For clients that asked us to, we’ve run some TV and radio campaigns in the past, although we’re a digital marketing agency, and it’s always mind-boggling that, that the money you spend in there, there’s no attribution. You don’t know what… You know that… Honestly, in some cases, they can’t even tell you how big the audience is, which is crazy. So you just know you’re spending money and your ads running to pick your time, but they don’t know… If it’s radio, they may not know how many people are actually listening.

Davey Jones:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Erik J. Olson:
So it’s one of those things where it’s kind of like, it can work, but it’s also repetitive over time, like the billboard, it’s hard to attribute. It’s a big budget kind of a thing. So it’s kind of-

Davey Jones:
It’s brand recognition. I think for the big advertisers that are playing, four, well, or more, four to 10 TV ads per football game.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah.

Davey Jones:
You watch a Saints football game, every commercial break, you’re going to see three lawyers advertisements.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah.

Davey Jones:
And that’s fine. They’re building that brand, that name recognition. So the billboards, the TV, the radio, sponsors, all that stuff, builds the brand recognition, which I’m just not a part of it. I don’t have the budget for it.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. Yeah. And just like we talked about with personal injury before, when it comes to very specific search engine optimization, it’s a crowded field, right?

Davey Jones:
Right.

Erik J. Olson:
So yeah, it requires a lot of skill and, frankly, a budget to go after something like that. But-

Davey Jones:
Yeah. But on the other hand, if you’re focusing on divorce law or successions, estate planning, some of the smaller or less competitive markets, then I would think you got to budget your funds appropriately, and search engine optimization, in my opinion, is the no-brainer.

Erik J. Olson:
Yeah. I’m with you on that. No, that’s great. I’ll tell you what, on that point, maybe we should wrap it up. We’re going a little on the long side. So I appreciate your time. If somebody would like to reach out to you to ask questions, or maybe they have a case for you, what is a good way for them to get in touch with you?

Davey Jones:
Email is the most direct, if it’s non verbal. But calling is easiest to match calendars to see if we can get a quick consult, or obviously the website, hdjoneslaw.com, or Facebook even. So any of the methods are accessible.

Erik J. Olson:
Awesome, Davey. Appreciate your time. All right, everybody. If you would like to check out more episodes like this, you can check out our entire backlog. We’re probably over 150 episodes of this point at arraylaw.com/podcast. We have them organized, not only by practice area, but by state where the firm is located, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you’re interested in digital marketing for your law firm, that’s where my company Array Digital focuses on. We focus on websites, SEO, online advertising, and social media. And you can find out more about the services @arraylaw.com. Davey, appreciate your time.

Davey Jones:
Thank you very much. Nice meeting you.

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