THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 217
Interview on 08.30.2022

Hosted By
Erik J. Olson

Featuring Attorney

Sheryl Moore



Managing Partner of
Moore Rabinowitz Law

About Sheryl Moore

Sheryl Moore is the Managing Partner at Moore Rabinowitz Law in Florida.

Sheryl is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Marital and Family Law. She handles all aspects of marital and family law including divorce, same-sex divorce, paternity, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, alimony, equitable distribution, name changes, child support, custody, time-sharing, relocation, post-divorce actions, modifications, enforcements, and more.

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

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Erik J. Olson:

Hey everybody, it is Erik J. Olson. I am your host for this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast. On this podcast, we interview America’s top managing partners to find out what they’re doing to run their firms, grow their firms, and to keep their case pipeline full. Today with me all the way from South Florida, Sheryl Moore. Hey Sheryl.

Sheryl Moore:

Hi Erik. Nice to see you.

Erik J. Olson:

Likewise. So Sheryl is the managing partner of Moore Rabinowitz Law, a family law firm in South Florida, Miami. So, welcome to the show.

Sheryl Moore:

Thank you. Yeah, Moore Rabinowitz Law. We started at the summer of 2018 and we’ve been growing ever since.

Erik J. Olson:

Well, cool. Tell me a little bit more about that. What made you want to start in the summer of 2018?

Sheryl Moore:

Well, I was a partner at a big firm down here and managing their family law practice. My fiance at the time, Adam Rabinowitz, was a partner in a big firm as well which was changing hands, and so we looked at each other and we said, “Well, maybe it’s time to start our own firm.” So we both ventured with our respective books of business and opened up our own practice, and every single case came with us and we just exploded. Now, I would say we’re three times the size that we were in the summer of 2018.

Erik J. Olson:

Is that right? Good for you. That’s incredible.

Sheryl Moore:

It’s been a long, hard, very busy road.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, what about COVID? What was the impact of COVID on you? I’ve heard pros and cons, but for family law, it seems like it did okay.

Sheryl Moore:

For family law and also for civil litigation, because Adam practices civil lit. I remember that we had outgrown our initial space and we had signed a lease for a much bigger office, and so here comes COVID, working from home. We sat down and I said to him, “Let’s go big or go home. If we don’t take on a new space, we will never grow. If we take it on, we hopefully will grow and we’re going to figure this out.”

Sheryl Moore:

So, we actually worked on a rotating schedule and we got those stickers and we put them in front of everyone’s door about six feet apart. Our office is nice and big and roomy, and we put up dividers between the paralegals and we wore masks, and our billables were better than ever, because we weren’t in the car going down to the courthouse.

Sheryl Moore:

We weren’t looking for parking, we weren’t waiting for the train or the drawbridge that we have down here in South Florida. We weren’t traveling on 95, so we were right at our computers. We got more screens, we got more electronics, we got more laptops for our workers in case they had to be home. Which many of them, on a rotating basis, we all got COVID, we all worked from home at one point. So actually, we have fared pretty well through COVID. We did a bit of a pivot and we’re busier than ever.

Erik J. Olson:

That is great. I love what you said, go big or go home, because every person who runs a business during that timeframe had the same kind of thought process, and I know we did here as well. We worked remotely for a solid year actually, but we had a conversation, me and my co-founder, about whether we’re going to keep the office or not. It’s like, look, if we give up the office, I’m going to give it up for good. But that’s not the kind of business that we want, we want to grow a big business, and we’re not going to do that working from home in our pajamas and not showering until 2:00 in the afternoon.

Erik J. Olson:

So different people made different decisions, but I love the fact that you went all-in and kept that lease. You probably could have got out because of COVID if you wanted to.

Sheryl Moore:

We could have, and you know what? We decided that we’re just going to go for it. Actually, I added another paralegal and another attorney during that time, because we got so busy. I changed out a bookkeeper and I even have a huge conference room that I’m considering making it into a virtual courtroom on one end of it, and the other end, having a smaller conference room, because we don’t really need the big conference room. My office is very large, I could add another attorney on one side.

Sheryl Moore:

So we’re coming up with ways to add more people, because I find that it’s really nice to have the comradery. It’s a social aspect of being in the office. I know we have a lot of meetings. I ordered plexiglass for everybody’s desks. Mine’s down right now, because it didn’t look very good in the background, but we really came up with ways that we could be present and still distanced, but that’s how we work as a team.

Sheryl Moore:

I pride my practice on a team-based practice, so my paralegal, my associates, we all work together. We don’t double, triple bill, we only single bill, but we have to work and we strategize these cases, so it’s hard to do when someone’s at home. Maybe they’re walking the dog, maybe they’re getting another cup of coffee, maybe they’re taking an afternoon nap. I don’t know. But when you’re in the office front and center, we can collaborate, we can hit the conference button on the phone, we can hear the conversations at the water cooler, and it just for me makes a much more fluid practice.

Erik J. Olson:

Absolutely. No, that’s great. So, congratulations on keeping the lease and going all-in. I think when it comes, again, to business owners, so many of us are trepidatious, we’re not really sure, there’s a lot of doubt, but when you think about, well, what’s the worst case scenario? I mean, certainly the worst case scenario is you go out of business, but how likely is that? A lot of these decisions that we make are not going to break the company, so you can be ambitious and go for it. So, I love the fact that you did that.

Sheryl Moore:

Thank you.

Erik J. Olson:

Turned out to be a very good time to do it too with COVID, because people were stuck in their homes with their spouses and maybe they didn’t get along with them at the beginning of the pandemic, and certainly after a couple weeks together, they were over it.

Sheryl Moore:

Yeah. Yeah, family’s been booming. Family law has been booming.

Erik J. Olson:

Do you think that trend will continue?

Sheryl Moore:

It’s interesting, because people have, I think, maybe more of a grasp for YOLO, you only live once. So, I feel like more people are coming with less patience or mismatched paramores or mismatched spouses, or mismatched partners if it’s a paternity case. Likewise with Adam and his business practices, he does partnership breakups. We do nursing home defense, which obviously had a spike. We do a lot of businesses that the partners aren’t getting along and we do employment law, real estate transactions.

Sheryl Moore:

So, there’s a lot less patience I would say for people who are maybe not getting along and they could otherwise work it out, and they have the YOLO theory, which is, “Hey, it’s one life and it’s not working, so let’s get out of this and get into a different type of situation.” That’s when we step in.

Sheryl Moore:

So, we were surprised at how quickly we grew. We now have a team of nine, and we just started off with Adam, myself and a paralegal for both of us. So I grew into the managing partner and I do all the HR, I do all the marketing, I do all the back office, plus I have a caseload of a lot of family law cases. Then he does more the finances of the firm and he does the civil lit. So with the two of us, we seem to have forged a partnership. The back of the office is family law, and the front of the office is civil, so we’re together, but apart so we’re not on top of each other. Logistically it works out well too.

Erik J. Olson:

Very nice, very nice. So, the podcast is about growing your firm. We’re a digital marketing agency, we definitely feel like digital marketing has a big part of that, so I want to ask you some questions about that. What are some different ways that you’re going about getting cases these days? Besides the referrals, which everybody loves, but what are some other techniques that you have used in the past that successfully get you cases?

Sheryl Moore:

So for a while, I had tried LinkedIn and I had somebody co-writing and helping me with the posts. I just found that a lot of time and energy was spent on the LinkedIn content, and it was a place to be on social media, but it didn’t really per se bring a lot of cases, so I actually stopped the LinkedIn recently. We have one advertisement in a magazine locally. I don’t advertise on Facebook, because I just have a personal opinion that that’s more for personal items and not professional. Then also we have our website.

Sheryl Moore:

So I do think we could up our game on the marketing, but my mantra is do good work, work hard, get great results. Then what happens is opposing councils, opposing experts, friends, family, and it just keeps on going, that when we touch a client’s life and we do a good job, our name is naturally passed on. So marketing per se has not been my forte, I think we need to do more of it. I’m more results-oriented and then the cases keep on coming. So that’s how I’d have to answer that question, I could do better though.

Erik J. Olson:

No, no, it’s totally good, and I appreciate that.

Sheryl Moore:

Being honest.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, and it’s not an uncommon answer, right? So, a lot of lawyers definitely focus on doing good work and the referrals. It’s one of those things that you have to do the good work no matter what, or else you’re not going to be in business very long, but the referrals sometimes is very passive, you’re just kind of hoping that they come. Is there anything that you’ve done in the past to ask clients for a referral or reach back out to them six months later or something like that, any way of kind of trying to generate some of those referrals?

Sheryl Moore:

That’s a good question. So, I do a couple things. Recently I had a case and the gentleman was very upset, because his wife didn’t give him back something that was personal to him that meant a lot. It happened to be a volleyball. How much is a volleyball? It’s not very much. So I went out to the sports store, got him a volleyball and sent it to him with a nice note. So, that’s one thing.

Sheryl Moore:

I remember I’ve given clients gifts of an elephant jade necklace that they particularly loved, or something that I know … another client, she lost all her snow globes in the divorce, because her husband had done something with them, so I went and got her a snow globe. So, I try to do a personal touch to make them realize like, hey, I listen. Not only to the legal stuff, but the emotional component, and I send them a gift.

Sheryl Moore:

For the other side of the coin, the clients that aren’t at Ooey Gooey, I had baseball hats made. They say Moore Rabinowitz Law on the front, and then the back there’s a pound, or hashtag rather, single? Let’s mingle. I send them a baseball cap, right? So, it’s kind of my marketing in the front and they’re little marketing for their next [inaudible 00:11:35] on the back.

Sheryl Moore:

They’re actually really cute, I really like them. I had some made for my paralegals, and they say best paralegal and best court reporter. So, I try to do fun sweet things that are meaningful. So I would say that’s kind of a personal twist on my marketing that I try to do for my clients, something heartfelt.

Erik J. Olson:

Well, the gift is very nice, definitely. The baseball hat is really clever. I thought where you were going with that was just it says your firm name on the front. It was kind of like, don’t mess with me, I’m represented, but on the back, it basically says mess with me, right?

Sheryl Moore:

Yeah, like, “Come get me a drink. Oh, single? Let’s mingle.” “Okay, well, who’s that?” “Oh, that’s my divorce attorney.” “Really? Oh, okay.” It’s a conversation piece, right?

Erik J. Olson:

That’s hilarious. That is really, really funny.

Sheryl Moore:

Thank you.

Erik J. Olson:

Let’s talk about LinkedIn a little bit. So, you said you went down the LinkedIn path and you were putting out posts and you had someone that was helping you with that. How long did you attempt to try to get some business or some traction at LinkedIn?

Sheryl Moore:

Couple years. The price was reasonable, then all of a sudden it tripled, and I said, “I liked having a place on LinkedIn, I like to have a voice, I like to show off what we were doing. I thought was interesting.” But then when the price tripled, I said, “Well, this doesn’t really make a lot of sense, because I’m spending all these hours,” right? So for me, I just had to let go of that for a while.

Sheryl Moore:

So I’m kind of dabbling in different areas to see what works, but so far the best has been those baseball caps. I have to tell you the truth. So I’m open to some suggestions, because I think marketing’s important.

Erik J. Olson:

LinkedIn is one of those platforms that’s really weird. We used to get a lot of traction on it and we used to post a lot, and then it just kind of stopped. We’ve tried it a couple times here or there. It’s not really for us, it just-

Sheryl Moore:

It’s like a professional Facebook, right? It’s like a Facebook wannabe with the like. I don’t know, it just ended up having-

Erik J. Olson:

It’s a weird vibe.

Sheryl Moore:

A different feel. Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:

It’s a weird vibe, because a lot of things are off-limits, right? It’s supposed to all be about culture and working with other people and your professional, but not even your professional self, it’s more like the perfect professional self, like the person who always cares about everyone else in the company. Sometimes that’s true, sometimes it’s not, but it’s kind of hard sometimes to express an opinion there.

Sheryl Moore:

I remember I would scroll through the posts and the comments and everybody has a different take on some controversial comments. Which is fine if you want to get, I don’t know, some traction that way, but is that the way to get a new client when you have a controversial post?

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, yeah.

Sheryl Moore:

For me, we’re too busy. I would rather work on my client’s cases, and at the end of the day go home and be with my family and try to regroup and find some balance.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. Now, what about Instagram? I know you are personal on there. Have you ever tried that for your law firm? Because the reason I bring that up is because it seems like that is a very good demographic-rich platform. A lot of women, about 35 is where it kind of starts to drop off, and that seems to be where the seven year itch is in a marriage. Right around that middle 30s, kids, things get real stressful. Does that seem like it could work for you?

Sheryl Moore:

Yeah, I think so. I’m kind confused on Instagram, right? So I’m personal, but I’m professional and it’s sheryl.moore.mrlaw, so which one am I? So, am I promoting my personal life or my professional life? So for me, I’ve never known what to do with my Instagram. I have very cool stepdaughters, who actually I think they blocked me from their Instagram, because they didn’t want me to see what they were doing, but I was trying to take notes, like how do you do this? How do you be a cool professional on Instagram? I didn’t know how to do it, so I just end up not really posting very much. I have little things. I have a little professional, a little personal and now I’m like, “Well, what do I do with this?” I don’t know what to do with it.

Erik J. Olson:

Well, that’s the way it should be, right? So it should be, well, if you’re doing it for business, mostly business and then a little bit of professional so you round yourself out. So, I thought it was good.

Sheryl Moore:

I think I need some help on that too.

Erik J. Olson:

No, I thought you did well.

Sheryl Moore:

Thank you. I’m trying, I’m trying. I did read the how-to, how Instagram. Forget TikTok, I can’t even tell you. I don’t know how to do any of that TikTok, but I just don’t think it’s for me. I mean, I’m going to be 50 in November, and so for me, I don’t know how to do all that. So I just figured-

Erik J. Olson:

Sure you do.

Sheryl Moore:

Let me go back to the basics, let me just do good work, let me have really good results, and somebody hopefully will come along and say, “Hey, you need some help with your Instagram. Can I help you?”

Erik J. Olson:

You could figure it out, you’re very smart. Yeah.

Sheryl Moore:

I’m going to try.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. All right, awesome. For the future, so you’ve grown very quick. Three years you went from two lawyers and two paralegals to nine total people, right?

Sheryl Moore:

Triple. Two and one, from three to nine.

Erik J. Olson:

Oh, okay, all right. Good for you, that’s incredible. In about three years, so very strong growth. What are your growth plans for the future? What do you foresee you’re going to be like in two to three years? What’s the plan?

Sheryl Moore:

Oh yeah, I think over 10 and less than 15’s probably a sweet spot for us, because I still like the team approach and we’re at 50% civil and 50% family. We might start another division on collections, not quite sure. My husband’s very entrepreneurial and has some thoughts and ideas on that, but I see a space in the market, because a lot of the older attorneys, more seasoned are moving to mediation, and a lot of the younger attorneys are not as experienced in litigation.

Sheryl Moore:

So, I’ve been taking over a lot of cases lately where the younger attorneys unfortunately have made strategic errors, and so I’m doing a lot of cleanup. Then a lot of the older attorneys are saying, “Here’s my caseload, I don’t want to litigate anymore.” I’ve just had people say they’re done litigating. They’re 60, 65 and they don’t want to do it anymore.

Sheryl Moore:

So I feel like there’s a space in the market to add more team members, and we have space here, but I think any more than 15 gets to be … I mean, then it’s more time managing and I really love practicing law. So I have to be careful, because I don’t want to dilute my law practice just because I’m managing more.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah.

Sheryl Moore:

I do have a wonderful bookkeeper who could work a little bit more in the other areas, but then I’d have to bring in an office manager and I really like managing the office. So you have to be careful, because there’s only so many hours in the day.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah. Yeah, have you ever considered opening another location, another office? Or is that-

Sheryl Moore:

Possibility. We might head north towards Palm Beach. Palm Beach is a beautiful area, has a different feel to it, the cases have a different feel. It’s a higher net worth, there are more businesses north. I don’t think we would head south, our strength is not bilingual. One of our staff members out of nine speaks Spanish, so I think we would be doing a disservice if we headed toward Miami-Dade, because you really do need to have bilingual staff, because in Miami they speak Spanish as frequently as English and vice versa. So, hopefully another office in the future.

Erik J. Olson:

Actually, I thought you were around Miami, because I’ve always considered South Florida to be another phrase for Miami. Am I [inaudible 00:20:04]

Sheryl Moore:

We’re Palm Beach, Miami, Broward. So I would say about 10% of our cases are Miami, but people really in Miami don’t go beyond the Miami-Dade, Broward line, they really just don’t. So, I do take for referral sources that say, “Hey, they need you.” I do have a case right now where the wife speaks mostly Spanish and she’s actually taking English lessons so she can communicate with me for her divorce, which is amazing.

Erik J. Olson:

Wow.

Sheryl Moore:

She’s doing quite well with it. But I take cases as far as the Keys and all the way up to Jacksonville and across to the Naples area as well, especially with Zoom, right?

Erik J. Olson:

Wow. Yeah, very nice.

Sheryl Moore:

There’s no reason you can’t go elsewhere, it’s Florida law. Florida statute 61, statewide.

Erik J. Olson:

You can go anywhere in the state, that’s great.

Sheryl Moore:

Yeah.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s great.

Sheryl Moore:

Right.

Erik J. Olson:

Well, that was awesome. I appreciate your time. If someone would like to reach out and they have a question for you or maybe they have a case that they could use some help with, what’s a good way for them to get in touch with you?

Sheryl Moore:

So, the best way is call our office, it’s (754) 216-5300. We also have a postcard, or a business card rather online at mr-lawers.com. It’s a simple website, but it tells you about who we are and what we do, and it gives you more insight into our practice and the different areas of law that we cover, which is a lot between Adam and myself.

Sheryl Moore:

We have multiple areas and we pride ourselves on being really strong advocates. I’m board certified in marital and family law, and he is AV rated, and so between being a specialist and top tier, we really like taking care of people. We are lawyers who like being lawyers, we really do enjoy it.

Erik J. Olson:

Awesome. All right, everybody, go check out her website. If you are looking for more episodes like this, you can find our entire backlog at arraylaw.com/podcast. Every podcast episode is tagged by the practice area and the state, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Erik J. Olson:

If you are a managing partner looking for some social media help, or if you want to spice up your website, you can go to my website, which is arraylaw.com. That’s for my company, which is Array Digital. We specialize in websites, SEO, online advertising and social media.

Erik J. Olson:

All right, Sheryl, thanks so much for your time.

Sheryl Moore:

Thank you so much for having me.

Erik J. Olson:

Bye-bye.

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