THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 201
Interview on 06.21.2022

Hosted By
Kevin Daisey

Featuring Attorney

Jessica Moyer



Managing Partner of
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC

About Jessica Moyer

Jessica Moyer is the Managing Partner of the KingSpry law firm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She splits her practice between family and education law, and is the youngest partner – as well as the first working mom -- to be chosen to lead the firm. Mentorship, strategy, growth potential and an unflinching work ethic are hallmarks of Jessica's style of leadership.

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Kevin Daisey:

Hello everyone. Welcome to another live recording of the Managing Partners Podcast. My name’s Kevin Daisey, and I’ll be your host. Also, the founder of Array Law. We help law firms grow, with digital marketing. Thank you for joining us today. I am joined here with Jessica Moyer, with KingSpry. Welcome to the show.

Jessica Moyer:

Good morning, Kevin. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Kevin Daisey:

Absolutely. So, Jessica’s actually located in Pennsylvania. About an hour north of Philadelphia. So thanks for tuning in there. Give us a little bit more idea of where you’re actually located.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure, Kevin. My firm KingSpry, is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Which is about an hour north of Philadelphia. We’re located in Northampton County. We’re the largest firm here in Northampton County. And we practice in various counties throughout Northeast, Pennsylvania.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. All right. Well, we’ll get more about the firm here in just a second. But I always like to find out first about you, the managing partner of the firm. Which is breaking news, if you will. You just became the managing partner there. It looks like back in January, it was announced. Correct?

Jessica Moyer:

Correct. I started my term January, 1.

Kevin Daisey:

All right. And that’s 2022, for anyone listening in the future. So congratulations on having that title. And I know it’s a lot of work, and a lot of extra administrative stuff added to your plate. But let’s back it up a little bit. Tell us about yourself, and what put you on the path to deciding to become an attorney.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure. So I was born and raised what they call here, the Lehigh Valley. I grew up here. Went to school here. And in first grade, my first grade teacher, sister Marie Juliana, told my parents very adamantly that she was convinced that I was going to be a lawyer. And she was absolutely correct. And stayed that path. Always thought, wanted to be a lawyer. So, went through college. I majored in political science, minored in communication. I was accepted at Villanova University, which is right outside of here, Philadelphia. And went there for law school. During law school I got to see firsthand, family law in action. I had a roommate who was going through some family law issues. So, that peaked my interest. And I started to interview, and decided I wanted to do a clerkship. So, come out of law school. Work for a judge for a year or two, prior to going into private practice or joining a firm.

Jessica Moyer:

So, I was very fortunate that we had connections with alumni at Villanova. I interviewed with a local judge, and he asked me what I wanted to do. And I said, I think I want to do family law. And he said to me well, I don’t do family law, but I’m going to put you in touch with our judge that does family law. And he did that. And I was hired by her. Her name was Judge Worthington. She’s out of Monroe County, here in Pennsylvania.

Jessica Moyer:

I clerked for her for a year, overseeing her family law cases. So, divorce cases that ultimately made their way up to her. Custody cases, support cases. We have here in Pennsylvania, what’s called Protection From Abuse orders. Which would be, restraining orders.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay.

Jessica Moyer:

Those were the issues that she would oversee and rule upon. When my tenure was coming down, I was very fortunate because she picked up the phone and called one of our founding partners here at KingSpry. And said, you need to hire my associate. And he did. And I have been here with the firm since 2006. And he did family law. And came here, started working with him. Had the benefit of learning under him. He’s brilliant. But then, the firm had a need for education law. And asked if I would be interested in learning education law, which I had no experience with at all. And I said, sure. So now, I do dual practice areas. I practice in our family law department, as well as our general education department.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Awesome. Yeah. You came to work for them. They thought they made a good decision. And now, here you’re are managing the firm.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

So, it looks like they did a good job.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s excellent. So when was the firm actually originated?

Jessica Moyer:

In 2001. It was a merger of three different firms here, in the Lehigh Valley. And it started with eight attorneys. And now, we are 31 strong.

Kevin Daisey:

Wow. That’s a lot of growth.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

All right. Excellent. So, you focus on family. And now, education. And we’ll get to that in just a second, with the differences of those two. The firm profile. What kind of areas are covered across the firm?

Jessica Moyer:

Sure. We’re full service. So we have nine different practice area, and some of those practice areas have specialty sections of it.

Kevin Daisey:

Got it.

Jessica Moyer:

So, we have our family law section. But then within our family law section, we have a partner who practices in assistant reproductive technology. So she is dealing with egg donors, and adductions.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. That’s a rare one.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes. Yeah. So we are the only firm in the Lehigh Valley, that offers that type of service. Then as I said, we have our education department. But within our education department, we have a special education department. So children who have special needs, and who need additional assistance during the school day. Whether it be to assist them with their disability, or if they’re gifted and they need a little bit extra motivation and assistance.

Jessica Moyer:

So, we have attorneys who just work with school districts on special education matters. We have business, real estates. We have trusts and estates also. I’m trying to think what else we have. Employment. Yes. Employment.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

And then also for our school districts, we do labor negotiations. Because, unions. We do contract negotiations for them. So we pretty much do everything, with the exception of a bankruptcy and white collar crime. And immigration.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Good. I mean, that’s naturally… When you see a firm grow, you bring in new partners and attorneys that bring a specialty with them. And it makes sense. So that’s very organic, natural growth from what I can see for the most part. So, really good. As far as your geographic reach and focus, is that with the whole state? Or specific to a couple areas around you?

Jessica Moyer:

Yeah. Just specific to Northeastern Pennsylvania. So, we don’t go to Philadelphia. That’s an hour away. It doesn’t make sense for our… I mean, we will if we have to. We have some federal litigation that ends up down in Philadelphia, most with our education clients. And we will certainly go down there.

Jessica Moyer:

But for me as a family law practitioner, I wouldn’t take a case down in Philadelphia. It doesn’t make any sense. So I would say, all the surrounding counties. And with education, we go as far up as the border of New York. So our education practice has a very wide reaching footprint, in the state of Pennsylvania. Our private sector side, it’s just relegated to the Northeast part of Pennsylvania.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well anyone in Philadelphia or south, may be a good referral partner if that’s an area that you don’t travel into.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

So if you’re listening, reach out to Jessica and connect. So, let’s talk a little bit more about some marketing here. And as far as the firm, or you personally overseeing the two areas that you focus on. And we talked about this a little bit backstage. And that’s really family law, which can be heavy marketing. You can do advertising. You can really do all the above. I’m going to hit that hard. Versus education. The differences with getting your foot in the door, and getting in with some of those folks. So give us a little bit of an idea of how you approach that, and the differences between the two.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure. And Kevin, you’re absolutely correct. It’s two different theories for bringing clients in the door, based upon which area of law I’m targeting. So on the private side with our family law, our referral sources are mostly from other professionals. So financial advisors, therapists, accountants that we work with. Business evaluators that we have worked with. Other attorneys actually, from other counties. Or who for one reason or another, aren’t able to take a case. And they will refer them to us.

Jessica Moyer:

We track our referrals here at the firm, and we get more foot traffic from those types of referrals than say, Google or Avo at the end of the day.

Kevin Daisey:

Gotcha.

Jessica Moyer:

For marketing purposes for family law, it’s two avenues that our department has taken. I have partners who have gotten involved with the local chamber commerce, and has worked her way up through that. And has received referrals as a result of that.

Jessica Moyer:

I followed my mentor’s path, which was becoming involved with professional organizations. So we have the Pennsylvania Bar Association here who has a subsection, which is the family law section. It’s the largest section within the Pennsylvania Bar Association. So I got involved with the section. Took on some leadership roles. I’m currently sitting on the executive committee for the family law section. And then, local bar association. So, I make connections meeting other attorneys. So we went two different paths, but the result is the same.

Kevin Daisey:

Got it.

Jessica Moyer:

And then, education is different. So we have public sector institutional clients where we not only want to attract new clients, but we want to retain our existing clients. So what we find with our educational clients is, family law is very reactive. Education is very proactive.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, okay.

Jessica Moyer:

We try to keep our educational clients out of court. So, how can we do that? So, we provide education for them. We are very heavy in pumping out publications on cases that are coming down. Different bills that may be pending out in the capital, and gaining traction. The guidance during COVID, for school districts. This was uncharted territory for school districts, and everybody else. And trying to stay on top of these hot issues, and providing them with this guidance. Whether they’re dealing with it, or whether it could be a potential issue in the future. We also offer education classes. We call them Lunch & Learns, where we’ll pick topics and invite our educational clients across the state. And now, we can do it via Zoom.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

And bring them in, and provide some education guidance for them that way. And it’s more like relationship building, on the education side. Versus family law where normally we have those clients, but it’s for a limited duration.

Kevin Daisey:

Sure. And just hand to hand combat, versus… I’m assuming with the education, you’re digging in deeper and deeper.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

In with them. So what’s an idea of an actual client, on the education side? Is it a school? School system? Who is the client exactly?

Jessica Moyer:

Yeah. So, it is a school district.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay.

Jessica Moyer:

So we would be appointed by the board of directors, who are elected officials here in Pennsylvania.

Kevin Daisey:

Got it.

Jessica Moyer:

And they elect us… Well, they appoint us. Excuse me. To a position. And we’re then, their solicitors. So on an average day, I mean really, a school district is like any other business as far as issues are concerned. We have employment issues. We have contract issues. I mean, a little different, we have student issues. And that could run a variety. So, you have student discipline issues. We have issues concerning the LGBT youth, and how to assist them as they go through the different grade areas in the school district. And provide guidance to the school districts. And then, we have public finance. So for construction work or projects, school districts need to secure financing. So I have a partner who just practices in public finance and does bond work for the school district, to be able to assist them with financing some of their projects that they’re looking to do.

Jessica Moyer:

That’s why I think our firm is such a good fit for educational clients, because we are one stop shopping. They want to purchase a building? We have a real estate department.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

Many of the school districts have foundations. So, a nonprofit arm. When they need help either establishing a foundation, writing bylaws, we have a nonprofit group here that can assist with that. We have the employment group. We have our labor and negotiation, who can do the contracts for them with the unions and negotiate that. And then of course family law pops up too believe it or not, more so than not with school districts. School districts are given custody orders, PFA orders.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, wow.

Jessica Moyer:

They’re getting subpoenaed. Come and testify in court. And obviously, that’s a little unnerving to them. So any day, it could be a variety –

Kevin Daisey:

It sounds like you get a lot of phone calls.

Jessica Moyer:

Very much. A lot of emails. Everybody likes emails.

Kevin Daisey:

A lot of emails and phone calls. Wow.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes. So it keeps us busy, for sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. That puts things a little more in perspective. Yeah. It sounds like that’d be lot of questions coming through to you guys. Especially with you’re talking about a whole district, and all the moving parts of the school. And all the kids. Yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Daisey:

Well, interesting. Yeah. I don’t think we’ve had anyone on the podcast, that really… Well, if they did do education, they didn’t speak of it on here with me. But that’s something that I’m less familiar with. So thanks for sharing the differences there.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. That to me, sounds like all relationship and just being a good partner.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

And once you’re in, you got to continue to provide good work. And it sounds like you’re going to do just fine.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s excellent. So I guess, give me some ideas. So, your managing partner.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

What’s been a big I guess, change for you? As far as your responsibilities and roles, since you took in that position. Or do you have more a time scheduled, to roll out some things?

Jessica Moyer:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Daisey:

So, what’s that transition been like for you?

Jessica Moyer:

That would be ideal, but no. It’s been trial by fire, essentially. So we have a management committee. We have several committees here, at the firm. And we have a management committee called the executive committee. There are five partners that sit on that committee, and oversee the management of the firm. I as the managing partner, come to the executive committee with various issues that have come up, to get their weigh in. And then we ultimately present issues to our partnership here.

Kevin Daisey:

Gotcha.

Jessica Moyer:

So back in 2020, right before COVID, I was approached about being deputy managing partner. So, it would be a natural transition. I would train two years under our then current managing partner, and then assume this role in 2022. And I just joke and say, if I would’ve known then what I would’ve known now, I would have ran for the hills. But actually that was… I got a crash course in running a business. And stuff that you would never even think of. That not only our firm, but other firms were faced with. But that kind of just… For a while there, law took a backseat. And survival of the fittest is what kicked in. And how do we do that, and make sure we don’t have to lay off anybody?

Jessica Moyer:

And actually it gave me a great opportunity to get my feet wet, and be prepared for when January 1 of 2022 came, to take over. But it is definitely a change. I’m very lucky. We have three administrators here, who assist.

Jessica Moyer:

So we do have a firm administrator, who oversees our finances. We have a director of HR and operations, who oversees our daily HR issues. And IT issues, all that kind of stuff.

Kevin Daisey:

Daily?

Jessica Moyer:

Yes. And then, we have a director of marketing. So there are three wonderful women who assist and help me through this process, because I wouldn’t be able to do it without them. And I had a goal that I was going to have one day blocked out, that I was going to do all my administrative stuff. And that goal was sadly overtaken by the second week. So it is fitting in the administrative stuff when I have time, and when I can. And obviously, some things come up. And they need to be dealt with immediately.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

So the cases go in the back burner, and I have to deal with the administrative issues. I feel like I’m going to get it down to a science at some point of time, but not yet. Not two months in. Hopefully, soon.

Kevin Daisey:

Well thanks for sharing that, because it’s good to have someone that’s just right in the hot seat. And coming on the Managing Partners Podcast shortly after there. So, maybe we can do a follow up episode in the future.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Is there any period of time with your firm, that you’re sitting managing partner until there’s someone else to appoint?

Jessica Moyer:

Sure. So technically, we sit two three year terms.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay.

Jessica Moyer:

So, six years. I had it down to days a couple of weeks ago, but now I stopped doing that.

Kevin Daisey:

You have that day on your calendar like, whew. I’m out of here.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes. But you know what? I’m lucky. I have great partners here, and we’re fully staffed. We have about 30 paralegal support staff. And then, our administrative team.

Kevin Daisey:

Wow. Yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

So, do have a lot of support. And we have various committees. So we have a facilities committee, that oversee and comes to our executive committee with recommendations concerning our building or renewal of leases. So it’s a good structure that the work is passed around, and then goes up the totem pole.

Kevin Daisey:

I mean, I think it’s amazing. Obviously they have trust in you, and faith. And even though it’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of extra work, but it’s a once in a lifetime type of opportunity, probably too.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

So experience that you’ll take with you, if you did go anywhere else.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

Good experience to have, regardless.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes. And one of my main goals here is, I’m the second female. Historically, it has been men that have held this position. So I’m the second female, I’m the first working mom.

Kevin Daisey:

Awesome.

Jessica Moyer:

So that’s an added juggling, because I don’t want to miss anything for my daughter. I have an awesome husband who is such a great support system, that can allow me to do this. But family’s important to me. So I want to… The traditional law firm, feet behind the desk, I think it’s a thing of the past. I think we learned a lot through COVID. We pivoted, and we changed how we operated internally. And I want to keep that momentum up.

Jessica Moyer:

Our staff and paralegals are still working on a hybrid schedule, and we haven’t skipped a beat. We changed our PTO to a more flex time. So people can go to their appointments, take their kids to their doctors. And come back to work and not say, oh. I had to use a whole day for that. We have a lot of internal events for our staff also, focused on wellness. Anything from mental health issues. We just had a little Lunch & Learn on posture. To help them break from the day, and then we reap the benefits with our health insurance premiums.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s awesome. I love that.

Jessica Moyer:

Yeah. My goal… But I also tell you that we also have unhealthy initiatives, because I like to bring food trucks in and provide lunch for everything.

Kevin Daisey:

There’s beer and food day.

Jessica Moyer:

Exactly. So these people who have been here, we do not have a high turnover rate. I do feel that we are a family. And we survived the tough times, and came out better for it. So it’s, what can we do? Because, we can be poached very easily. We have the large Philadelphia firms, with the high salaries. And they’re working remotely.

Jessica Moyer:

So, we have to reinvent ourself. And not only remain competitive to bring in new attorneys, because of course we want to grow. But we want to make sure that we maintain our current workforce that we have here. So, what are we doing to make sure that we’re providing them with the benefits to keep them happy and keep them here?

Kevin Daisey:

I love it. I mean, it sounds like you got a good culture there and a lot of good activities. And open to change when it comes about, like COVID. Or technology, and things like that. So I think it’s… Heard a lot of firms that aren’t willing to do that. Old school, and not willing to change. Having to eventually embrace it, no matter what. But it sounds like you guys are doing a good job there. Sounds like a good place to work.

Jessica Moyer:

Thank you.

Kevin Daisey:

And are you at home today, or are you at the office?

Jessica Moyer:

No, I’m in the office today. So I do personally like to work from home, because it’s quiet. When I’m here, my office is somewhat of a revolving door. So, I am here today. Yes. And had my team here, put me together. The only thing they didn’t give me was hair and make up.

Kevin Daisey:

[inaudible 00:22:12] show up here. So I’m in the office today, but same way. I can work from home just as good as I can work here. Sometimes, I have to be home. I have little kids. My wife has things that she’s got to do. She works. If I have to stay home, not a big deal. I’m all set up there, and I don’t skip a beat. So for me, I think hybrid makes sense.

Kevin Daisey:

And it’s not necessary, except for most folks in our company.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

So my leadership, we’re mostly in here together. Have a lot of conversations and planning, and stuff like that. But a lot of our folks aren’t even in this state, honestly.

Jessica Moyer:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Daisey:

So, they work remote all the time. Yeah. Things have changed, but it sounds like you guys have done a great job to embrace that. Even with the law firm, and making sure that it works for everybody.

Jessica Moyer:

Yes. But you want to try to maintain camaraderie too. So now that we’re on the other side of things, it’s like, how can we bring everybody together? To keep those relationships. And to keep those closeness when you don’t necessarily in the office every day, keep going.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Jessica Moyer:

So, that’s something that we’re now looking at. Now that we can come together safely, to get everybody back together and start having some nice personal time in addition to the professional time.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. A hundred percent. And we’re doing this similar thing. We’re about 20/25 total, I think. But we have only about four or five of us here. Because with COVID, we hired quite a bit of people. And mostly we’re like well, they don’t have to be here. And that’s out the window anyway with us. We’re digital marketers, so we want the best and brightest, no matter where they are. So I think we have eight or nine employees, just in Florida alone.

Jessica Moyer:

Wow.

Kevin Daisey:

Which is good, because I get to [inaudible 00:24:05].

Jessica Moyer:

Yes.

Kevin Daisey:

But there is something to be said about coming in the office, having those [inaudible 00:24:13] and having that interaction. So we’re definitely encourage folks if they are local, to come in.

Jessica Moyer:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kevin Daisey:

And if not, we fly them in if they’re new. And they come and visit the office, and hang out. And then we’re hiring some new positions right now, which priority would be on them being local if possible.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

So, we’re doing that too. We’re pulling back a little bit and say, hey. We’re a digital company, but there’s something very important about having an office. The culture that we built came from having a physical presence, and being together.

Jessica Moyer:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

So, we just don’t want to lose that over time.

Jessica Moyer:

No. And I think there’s that, not only culture, but connections. Local connections too.

Kevin Daisey:

Absolutely.

Jessica Moyer:

If we have our preference, we would love to hire attorneys that grew up here. Have connections here, have families here. Because then, they’re less likely to leave. So, that’s what –

Kevin Daisey:

And they bring more work, because they knew people.

Jessica Moyer:

They do bring more… Exactly. Another benefit. Yeah. I think it’s very important. I think culture is extremely important. And I think if we can tap into younger talent here, we’ll be much better for it.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. All right. Well, I appreciate you sharing all that today with me. And really, the educational thing’s new. And I think the difference there, between the two. And then, you as a new managing partner. So, thanks for sharing what that’s like.

Kevin Daisey:

If there’s any listeners that want to be a managing partner or maybe are going into that role, might be good to reach out to Jessica and see how she’s handling it.

Jessica Moyer:

Absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

And what she’s got planned for it. Oh, I forgot to share too, the website address. If you want to check out Jessica’s firm and more about her, she’s got a whole profile in there about her and her background. KingSpry.com. That’s K-I-N-G-S-P-R-Y.com, if you are listening on the podcast. So, go check that out. Jessica, is there another way people can connect with you if they’re tuning in?

Jessica Moyer:

Sure. Absolutely. Either email. My email address is JMoyer, M-O-Y-E-R, @KingSpry.com. And, or LinkedIn. We use that very heavily up here.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Excellent. I’ve just sent you a connection request. Myself, I’ll [inaudible 00:26:29] this morning. So, I use that pretty heavily too. So Jessica, anything else you want to share before we go?

Jessica Moyer:

No, I just want to say thank you for having me. This is a great experience. I appreciate it.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, absolutely. No. Thanks for sharing your story, and about your firm there. Sounds like you guys are doing great thing. So anyone again, maybe a good referral partner. Maybe you just have questions. Again, maybe you’re aspiring to start your own firm or be a managing partner. I think Jessica would be a great person to connect with. And again, maybe there’s some referral passing that can happen.

Kevin Daisey:

So reach out to Jessica, connect with her. And Jessica, thanks for coming on with me today. Check out this episode and many more. We have close to 200, up on the site already. Managing Partner interviews. We also have the Managing Partner’s newsletter, which goes out twice a week. We feature different episodes like this. We also feature marketing tips. We also feature things that managing partners are doing, that have been on the show. Writing books. We have a book club.

Kevin Daisey:

We share a podcast that our other firms are doing. So it’s just a wealth of knowledge, and it’s a way for you to connect with others. And I think that’s around 1500 attorneys or managing partners on that list. I think, it goes out too. So check that out. You can also sign it for that on the website. And then Array Law, we help firms market. So websites, SEO, content writing, social media, you name it. Advertising, that’s what we do. And that’s what we specialize in. So reach out to us, reach out to me. Any questions you have, happy to help. And that’s it. Jessica?

Jessica Moyer:

Thanks, Kevin.

Kevin Daisey:

Thanks so much. Stick on with me. Everyone have a great day, and we’ll talk to you soon.

 

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