THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 165
Interview on 02.15.2022

Hosted By
Kevin Daisey

Featuring Attorney

Andrew Lacy, Jr.



Managing Partner of
The Lacy Employment Law Firm

About Andrew Lacy, Jr.

Andrew Lacy, Jr. is the Managing Partner at The Lacy Employment Law Firm in Pennsylvania.

Andrew is a graduate of Cornell Law School. There, he was on the Dean’s List his first semester, an honor given to the top 30% of the class. He won his first jury trial at 26 years old in a federal civil rights case. He was amongst the youngest lawyers in the country to accomplish such a feat. He clerked for the Honorable Cathy Bissoon, a federal judge in Pittsburgh. He also served as the academic advisor in the Black Law Student Association (BLSA).

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

Kevin Daisey:
Hey there everyone. We are live with another live recording of the Managing Partners Podcast. My name is Kevin Daisey, I’m your host. And I’m also the founder of Array Digital. We exist to help law firms fill their pipelines utilizing digital marketing. Today, I have an awesome guest who’s referred by another awesome guest that we had on recently, Andrew Lacy out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the show.

Andrew Lacy:
Thank you. Glad to be here Kevin, really appreciate it.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. Yeah. I’m excited to hear your story, your journey, learn more about your firm, what you’re doing in the market, what you’re doing to get out there in front of potential customers and hopefully getting some good tips for others as they’re tuning in. Other attorneys, looking to find their way improve their firms, anything you can share, we’re looking forward to it. So first off everyone, if you’re listening, you want to learn more about Andrew as we’re chatting with him, his website’s down below. If you’re on video, YouTube, if you’re watching this live on Facebook or LinkedIn, employment-labor-law.com, that’s employment-labor-law.com. And if you’re listening on the podcast on any platform, go check that out and learn more about him. And Andrew so we can learn more about you, if you would please share your story, your journey, how you became an attorney, why you became an attorney and what you’ve now focused on as a practice?

Andrew Lacy:
Yeah. Thanks Kevin. So my journey I think is atypical. I never really was an academic growing up. I didn’t really like school very much. I played sports. I played three sports in high school and I just assumed I was going to go to college, get a Division I scholarship and that would be that. I didn’t think I was going to make the NFL, but I thought I’d get a free education and figure it out. But then six months before my senior year of school, I tore my ACL and it takes six months to recover from that. So what I tried to do, which was stupid, was play with my ACL torn and still keep my scholarships and keep that going. But what I found out is is that you can’t do a very good job of playing football with a torn ACL, unless you’re Hines Ward.

Andrew Lacy:
So all the big colleges stopped looking at me and I went to a small Division III college outside of Pittsburgh. At that point I had to figure out, “Well, what am I going to do next? I’m having fun in college, this whole studying thing isn’t that bad.” And a professor approached me and said, “Why don’t you think about law school?” So I ended up taking the LSAT, did decent enough and got into Cornell Law with my friends Mahek and Neil. And then after that passed the bar and started practice at a large law firm, Reed Smith, and then also did a federal clerkship in between. So that’s my path to starting my firm, I’m about six years out of law school. And I started directly from working at a big law firm with no book of business, no contacts and switching a practice area, so those were all the challenges.

Kevin Daisey:
Well, excellent. I think it’s really cool to hear everyone’s story and where they wanted to go versus where they ended up, and then kind of find themselves typically coming into a firm doing something, not necessarily what they chose and then finding their way to where they feel they fit best, where they give back the most, so that’s really cool. What would you say your specialty is that makes you different with your firm?

Andrew Lacy:
Right now we’re focusing a lot on high profile police cases. We’re really trying to change the culture of police apartments in Pennsylvania. And we’re just bringing racial discrimination lawsuits on behalf of black officers. As we know there hasn’t been a ton of success with citizens suing police officers. But the hope is is that if we hold these offices accountable and at least create diversity within the department, that things will start to change for citizens because the police forces will be more diverse. So working on some cases right now, I had one in the media recently, that’s really the specialty. Other than that we do all types of employment law, discrimination, harassment, even some wage and hour stuff but that’s what we’re niching down to right now.

Kevin Daisey:
Excellent. I love the focus, the way you have a niche and that you specialize in it, it’s good to hear. I hear that over and over again, that whether it’s immigration or divorce or whatever may be that a lot of the newer firms at least, they’re way more focused and have a niche. Like a divorce firm I talk to, they only help women that’s just their deal. So it’s really cool to see the niches that are happening and people really focusing saying, “Hey, if you have this type of case, we are the best at it.” And that’s a lot stronger than, we can help you with that or anything else under the sun. The days of the general practitioner are falling away.

Andrew Lacy:
Right.

Kevin Daisey:
Or like, “Oh, I can help you with a will or your estate planning or contracts for your business. Sure. I can do all that stuff.” You can’t really be good at all of those things, so really cool. So based on your niche, how specific you are, what are you doing other than referrals? What are you doing that’s working well to get clients?

Andrew Lacy:
So the police cases are really my only source of referrals. I have a couple other referral attorneys out in Philadelphia, they’ve been really nice and they sent me some employment cases, general employment cases. These are workers comp attorneys and they didn’t have to do this. They just did it because they wanted to see a young guy get a start and not starve. With the police cases that one hit the media, every officer in the PA state police knows my name, they know who I am, which is a good and a bad thing because I can’t drive in the middle of Pennsylvania right now without worrying about-

Kevin Daisey:
They know where your house is.

Andrew Lacy:
… getting pulled over. Exactly. I’m not their best friend right now. So the cases are coming that way, but really I drive probably 98% of my business through online internet marketing, particularly search engine optimization, that’s how I get my cases.

Kevin Daisey:
I love it. You’re preaching to the choir, that’s what we do but I love to hear that. And I think it’s good to hear that you’re doing that honestly, because most firms if I ask them that question, they pretty much just push it back to referrals, that’s all we got and that’s all they do. And they do some SEO, they might do some stuff, they have a website. But it’s hard to find ones that really believe that Google can be just as good or better as a referral source, that you can control a little bit more than just waiting for the phone to ring and hopefully someone referred you. So that’s awesome that you’re doing that and investing in that. So what are some of the things that you’ve done, are you doing this in-house, using an agency, what’s worked well for you in the SEO space?

Andrew Lacy:
So it’s interesting when I was at the big law firm I was doing defense side complex products liability and I wanted to switch to employment, I had an interest. But the real impetus for the switch was that I looked at the market in Pennsylvania and I saw Pittsburgh and I saw Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s competitive. So I’m like, “Okay, I might take a little while to get to number two or three in Google Maps in Philadelphia.” Then I went to Pittsburgh and there wasn’t very many firms. You could tell when a firm invests in SEO, if you’ve been reading about it and learning about it and it’s very obvious. And from my perspective there wasn’t a lot of firms investing in it. So I said, “You know what, why don’t I throw up a physical office in Pittsburgh. I’ll keep that for Google local, Google search purposes, learn all about SEO myself and then see what happens.” And four months, five months after I started my law firm, I’m at the top of the Google three pack and from there I’m getting eight calls a day.

Kevin Daisey:
I love it, man, that’s so awesome. See, I told you in the beginning that you were going to be the best guest we had and you didn’t believe it. So no, a 100%, so you saw opportunity. So when we’re doing digital marketing for law firms we do exactly what you’re talking about, for the ones that just don’t have a clue or they need the help or they’re busy billing instead of worrying about that stuff. And you just got to look at the inventory. You got to look at the opportunity. You got to look at the competitors, where are the holes you can find where you can slide in. Now if you’re an established firm in an area that’s been there but never invested and you’re not moving, then you got to do some work to figure out how can you start to compete in that space?

Kevin Daisey:
When a lot of firms may have already spent a lot of energy and money into it. For you, you’re like, “Okay, I see opportunity over there. I’m going to put up an office over there and get me a map listing, Google My Business and start to work.” And that three pack is huge, I guess, it’s fun. It’s down to 3% of people who click on the ads which we do do as a service, so I’m not trying to beat up on our service. But if I can pick anywhere I want to be, it’s the three pack and organic, every single time. The ads I feel are something you do once you’ve accomplished those other things, the ads, go ahead and spend as much as you want, but at that point you’re already crushing everywhere else, so kudos to you on that.

Kevin Daisey:
So as far as the content on your site, how much content you put out, what is something that you’ve seen that’s worked well? Are you putting that content on a regular basis, is it something you put a lot of energy into one time and you’re still reaping the rewards, what’s been the process for that?

Andrew Lacy:
My view, I think that a great piece of content is worth 10 pieces of mediocre content, it just is. I’ve heard people say I need to blog every so often so Google keeps recrawling your site and I think that’s true to an extent. But it depends on how competitive of a space you’re playing. If you’re PI in Philly, you better blog every week and your blog better be great every week because you’re PI in Philly, and that’s probably the best venue for personal injury in the country or up there. For me in employment, well, it’s not like that. I will put out a great piece of content every month with perfect on page LSI. My score of LSI, we run through SEO Surfer and I’ll have all my LSI and keyword densities.

Andrew Lacy:
And I find that even without backlinks to that page, I’m ranking, I’m ranking a lot of my blog articles, one to three, and this is national organic, so it just works in my space. And then sometimes I’ll put out a piece that doesn’t take a long time, maybe I’ll hire a writer and that’s just purely for freshness purposes. It’s not necessarily like I’m trying to rank that piece.

Kevin Daisey:
Gotcha.

Andrew Lacy:
And a lot of my practice area pages, like I’ve made an effort to rank some of them like I ranked FMLA, PA, which is a high volume term with a decent value. I don’t know quite where we started, I guess, I got on a tangent but-

Kevin Daisey:
I was going to add, I was just really asking how often you feel you need to put content out-

Andrew Lacy:
Right. I’ll give you an answer.

Kevin Daisey:
… in your space.

Andrew Lacy:
In my space, I’d say once a month, but then with a caveat that it has to be great and this is my particular practice area, my particular situation. And also that Google My Business content is probably more important, because you want to be doing that more regularly to keep your place in the three pack, because everyone’s going to try to climb up there and people are going to you have to play defense too.

Kevin Daisey:
No. 100%. And so anyone listening, young attorneys or people that have firms forever that have invested… I think the cool thing here that Andrew’s has done… Well, one of the things that he has done, which is a little bit different because he took the time to learn SEO and understand it and using tools to his advantage as well. So we talked to some attorneys that were like, “Oh, we kind of do our own SEO in house,” or whatever and that might be prospects of ours and then we say, “Well, your SEO is not good.” And obviously, that’s our job is to say, “Hey, here’s where you’re at. Here’s where we can take you. Are you interested? Whatever.”

Kevin Daisey:
And I think a lot of attorneys are like, “Well, we write content all the time. We put articles out.” And they just write for what they want to write to, with no real plan or strategy, content, calendar, or nothing like that. And then of course they don’t know what to write and how to write it, that’s going to help them rank well. It’s them putting pen to paper, but it’s not usually helpful at all to them in search results. So I think what you’ve done though, you understand SEO, you’re purposely writing that content and you’re tracking that is actually paying off. So I think that’s the right way to do it. If you were out there and you want to do your own content and SEO, take the time to learn it and understand it because there’s a lot of cool tools out there. If you have the time to do it or you’re just starting out, I think that’s huge, so kudos to you on that but-

Andrew Lacy:
And Kevin I just wanted to, if it’s okay, I know you’re asking the questions.

Kevin Daisey:
No, go ahead.

Andrew Lacy:
I guess I want to plug agencies like you for a little bit. It took a lot of time. Like I don’t want it to seem like you can go out tomorrow, read a book and learn SEO in a day, that’s not how it works. I probably poured over hundreds of hours of internet forums, of reading Neil Patel-

Kevin Daisey:
[crosstalk 00:14:37].

Andrew Lacy:
… and I was doing that at night while working in big law. So I would always recommend that someone is conversant, like you should know backlinks on-page, off-page, some of the basic terms. Maybe know some of the Airests or some of the other tools are, but there is a value in delegating. And my ultimate plan is not to be an SEO agency, I want to delegate this once the cash flow justifies it and take it to the next level.

Kevin Daisey:
No, I appreciate that. And honestly for me, I push anyone and everyone who wants to do it. If they want to do themselves, I’ll tell them or help them. If they feel like they want to have an agency do it, hopefully, we’re the right fit, we can help them. Sometimes it’s a collaborative effort, they might have someone in house that’s helping, a marketing person, we work with them. So it’s for me, it’s whatever, if attorneys are listening right now, whatever you feel is going to work for you but it does take a lot. My my team is constantly reading, getting up to speed, posting all new articles every single day. Google updates are coming out all the time. We’re trying to figure out what that means. How do we adjust for it?

Kevin Daisey:
So it’s a lot of work that goes into it, for sure. I do believe too there’s also those folks that just start out that I don’t recommend, they go spend thousands of dollars a month, if they want to try to do it themselves to get started. You can go make your own website on Wix, do whatever you have to do to get started. But once you’re getting to a point where you’re making money then you can be billing hours and working with your clients, so to a degree and I think I appreciate that. And then one of the other things you mentioned too is it depends on the competition. And some people are like, “Well, we want to rank for this and this or that. How much copy do we write? What do we write? How many backlinks do we need?”

Kevin Daisey:
Well one keyword phrase might be very competitive and we say, “Hey, we we’re going to have to spend months and write tons of copy, 3000 words, 10,000 words, who knows. Or this other price area, low hanging fruit, it’s got good search volume and low competition. We could do a shorter article with a backlink and we could probably get you ranked at the top.” So it’s really about evaluating and under understanding that too and how competitive is your space. And I think some people are like, “Well, we want to rank number one,” and their budget is like 1,000, 2,000 a month to pay an agency that’s just not going to happen.

Kevin Daisey:
Now you could have some other very niche practice area where it’s no problem, that’s easy, so you got to have the right expectations when you’re going into talking to a SEO firm or if you’re trying to do it yourself. I appreciate the conversation Andrew on SEO. So what is anything that you’ve done? I like how you mentioned too GMB, how important that is to post to it questions and answers, all that kind of stuff. What are some of the things that you’ve done that you feel like were a flop, maybe that didn’t work for you?

Andrew Lacy:
Social media for me and… Look, I love tech, this is what I love and I grew up on it and I would be probably some type of computer person if I didn’t do what I do. I don’t like social media-

Kevin Daisey:
My camera’s blurry, so I wish you were a computer expert right now. Another reason why.

Andrew Lacy:
I just don’t like social media that much. I know it’s something I need to do and force myself to do, but it was my early posts to Instagram and stuff were really forced and I didn’t really get much traction from it and my heart wasn’t into it, because all I wanted to be doing was writing content, getting backlinks at the time. And now I’m busy, I have more cases than I can handle so I haven’t turned back to that but that’s a 2022 goal. Just make that weakness my strength because it’s important, everyone knows it.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. I don’t disagree with you. I think there’s a priority. Interestingly enough me and my partner, we’re working on a book together but it’s really about our process as a agency, our company and what we believe strongly is the right progression of marketing for any law firm. Meaning if you started today as a new firm. The one thing I would do first recommended was for marketing. And then what’s the next thing that I would recommend. And this is if it was my money, my time, what would you do? What makes the most sense? And we’re flushing out this whole process and social media is a little further down, it’s not the first thing that I would recommend. You need a website, if you don’t have a website SEO doesn’t exist.

Kevin Daisey:
You can’t really do anything without it, so that’s the first thing we need to do but I feel like there’s a progression. And I think if you can secure website local organic and then organic, that’s the first things I would do, before I would think about advertising, before I would think about social media or anything like that. So I agree with you, you already nailed the first couple things that I would recommend. And so when the time’s right, you want to do social media then that makes more sense. So there’s some pretty cool stuff going on there with social media, some attorney’s are doing TikTok and all kinds of stuff.

Kevin Daisey:
They’re getting tons of views and all that stuff, are they getting clients out of it, I’m not sure. And it’s hard to control. You can’t go on TikTok and then if you only work in one state or one area, you can’t really control who sees the content and if it’s even going to benefit you. So I don’t disagree, I think social media is important but it’s not the number one thing on the list.

Andrew Lacy:
I agree with that.

Kevin Daisey:
Maybe you should do TikTok videos on SEO for law firms, telling them what to do.

Andrew Lacy:
No one would watch this.

Kevin Daisey:
Probably not. I don’t know. Maybe not.

Andrew Lacy:
It’d be you and me.

Kevin Daisey:
Me and business partner were just talking a minute ago, there’s one called LawByMike or something like that on Instagram.

Andrew Lacy:
He worked at my law firm actually, we left around the same time.

Kevin Daisey:
Oh really.

Andrew Lacy:
Yeah. He was at Reed Smith in California.

Kevin Daisey:
Cool. I think you said another thing, your heart wasn’t into it, you were kind of wrapped up with something different. And I think with social media, you have to be all in, ready to go, ready to shoot videos every day, ready to pump out out tons of content and have fun with it or it’s not really going to work. You can’t just do a post a week and expect any results, I think you agree. Good on the SEO stuff, man, that’s really awesome. So as you got that dialed in, you got some plans for 2022, what are some of your goals next year and then what do you see happen in the next five years? What’s the plan? Bring on more attorneys, associates, what’s the future hold?

Andrew Lacy:
Next year I want to make a push into Philadelphia via and start laying that groundwork to rank there. And I think that based on my observations, it might be doable, especially now that my website has some age, has some authority. It’s not coming in as a fresh website so I’d like to make a push there and also New Jersey, which has really high damages for my type of law, cases there are much more valuable in Pennsylvania. So those ar the two goals at some point next year I want to establish physical offices.

Kevin Daisey:
Awesome.

Andrew Lacy:
Love to hire another attorney, next year, I have a full-time employee now she’s been fantastic. We geek out together. She built my case management system from scratch-

Kevin Daisey:
Oh, cool.

Andrew Lacy:
… using Zapier and Airtable. She knows relational databases and SQL. She’s on a different wavelength as far as that goes, incredibly smart. But looking to add that other attorney handle some of the cases, take myself out of some of the day to day law stuff and really only handle the big picture depositions, trial, summary judgment type stuff but that’s the dream.

Kevin Daisey:
That’s awesome, man. Well, I’m sure you’ll get there, sounds like you’re on your way. And I like how you were like, “Philadelphia next and I think I can rank there.” So basically most attorneys or firms would go, “Okay, we’re going to open an office there. We’re going to find space.” And they’re thinking about just how they’re going to infiltrate the area based on getting a physical space there and probably going and shaking hands all day and trying to drive up business that way. Versus you’re like, “How can I rank in Philadelphia?” Because that’s going to take care of the rest. You can get office suite somewhere with no one probably even there, get an address, go to Google, get your new listing set up and go to work. I like that a lot better. For New Jersey, so the cases you trial they’re state by state, right?

Andrew Lacy:
Right. So I got to work on reciprocity with New Jersey, just a lot of paperwork I haven’t got through yet. And I have a big trial, this is the hard part about being an owner and a lawyer and a business person, an SEO person-

Kevin Daisey:
An SEO expert.

Andrew Lacy:
… all in one. I have a two week jury trial in February that I’ve been putting a lot of time into, so that’s slowing down some of the growth. I think I would’ve already been in Philadelphia by now if I didn’t have this trial, but I owe it to my client to give it the attention it needs and I have to do that. That’s why I need, hopefully the cash flow to be there starting to come to get some help, to take som pressure off so I can do other things.

Kevin Daisey:
That’s awesome, man. It’s amazing what you’ve done so far and kudos for some of the marketing things you’ve been able to accomplish and SEO it’s not easy, that you’re running your firm and doing that too, that’s pretty cool to see. So I really appreciate you sharing all that with us and hopefully others can learn a lot from that, especially, if they’re starting out how important some of this stuff can be, especially your online presence. I don’t care what practice you’re in, it can be beneficial. Even if you’re getting referrals and they got to look for you and do research on you, you want to come up, you want to have good reviews, you want to have a website that represents you well. I think it’s all good tips for everyone listening. And if you can’t do it yourselves, give us a call, that’s all right. Well, I don’t want to waste up too much of your time because I know you’re busy. Look at my camera, what’s up with this. Keeps blurring out on me. I have to get some IT people in here.

Kevin Daisey:
If you’re watching or listening, you can go check out Andrew learn more about him. Check out his website. He’s ranking, he’s driving traffic, employment-labor-law.com, if you’re listening on our podcast. If you’re watching, I’m sorry my camera keeps auto… I got the most expensive camera and it’s not good enough I guess. I’m going to go back to my cheap one, it keeps blurring out of me. And then Andrew, what’s another way people can reach out and connect with you personally, whether it’s through a social media platform or email, whatever you prefer, what’s the best way they can reach out?

Andrew Lacy:
You can Google Employment Lawyers Pittsburgh account number two and then you can call me or text me, text that number, however you want to do it.

Kevin Daisey:
Okay. Excellent. So reach out to Andrew. I’m sure he’s got a little bit of time to spend with you. And if you got any questions another attorney wants to reach out to him, ask him how he’s doing in his SEO, I would recommend that. Andrew this episode will be up soon on our website. It’s arraylaw.com/podcast, it’ll also be up on our YouTube. This will be pushed out live soon on LinkedIn, Facebook and also of course on our podcast platform. So stay tuned to that, we’ll have more from Andrew coming out all over our social media, as soon as we get that edited so look out for that.

Kevin Daisey:
And of course, as always, if you need any help marketing, talking about SEO, even it’s just questions, if you need to be referred to someone that is a one off web developer, or what’s the easy cheapest way to start, I’m happy to help you out. So just reach out to me arraylaw.com or Kevin Daisey on any platform. I don’t have any fancy names on my handles, it’s just Kevin Daisey. So that’s it Andrew anything else you want to share before we go?

Andrew Lacy:
No, that’s it. I would say that SEO can be great and it can be a lot of fun. Just dig in. We’re all really smart people when we put our mind to it, it’s not that hard, there’s no coding involved. Learn the basics and then work with someone great to take you over the edge or do it yourself.

Kevin Daisey:
I appreciate that, man. Exactly. You attorneys are smart, smarter than me I’m not an attorney. Just learn it and if you want to learn it, go learn it and understand it. Even if you use an agency later, it’s better for you to understand it than to have someone show you metrics that don’t matter. Like you don’t understand what they’re doing. So take the time to learn it, understand SEO at least. And if you’re working with an agency they should be educating you too. Like, “Hey, this is what we’re doing. This is why we’re doing it. Here’s the results.” And you should be able to know what’s good, what’s bad and what’s working. Andrew, thanks so much, man, I really appreciate it and good talking to you. Stay on with me, we’ll talk afterwards. Everyone else, Andrew, we’ll see you later.

Website Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Online Advertising, Social Media & Digital Marketing.

© Array Law
Website Design, Online Advertising, SEO, Social Media & Digital Marketing.
© Array Law