As most of us look forward to 2021 for many reasons, KingSpry will proudly mark the 20th anniversary of the merger of our two parent law firms on the first day of the new year.
A general practice law firm based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, KingSpry was founded in January of 2001 by members of the former King, Herman, Freund, Swartz & Reid and Turtzo, Spry, Sbrocchi, Faul, and LaBarre law firms. Click here for a snapshot of the firm’s history.
The original five partners who endeavored in this were E. Drummond King, Terence L. Faul, Donald F. Spry, II, Kent H. Herman, and John E. Freund, III.
Recently, we sat down with three of those original partners to compare notes on how their plans have progressed over the firm’s first two decades.
“We didn’t have any preconceived notion about forming the firm, it just sort of happened because we got it rolling, and the work was there.
I hope when people think of this firm, they think ethical and fair. You have to hire and work with people you are comfortable with, and then don’t be afraid to delegate. Above all else though, I think one of the most important things is to work hard and treat people right, because you never know who the people you are dealing with are. You can do things on a handshake, and as you move up in certain areas, you will deal with a certain pre-defined set of lawyers, especially when you start doing the complex stuff. I think you have to trust people.
There are two things I always keep in my mind that my mentor told me, that resonated with me: One, there are always going to be too many lawyers and not enough good ones. Two, get to the top of the mountain, because when the floods come, those at the top survive. Always work hard and treat people fairly and civilly, because you don’t want to make enemies and we have always felt that way within the firm. If somebody leaves, we don’t burn any bridges.”
Over the years, KingSpry has represented the Lehigh Valley across a broad spectrum of legal issues. Our mission continues to be to approach each case with the highest degree of personal integrity and professionalism to give our clients the best outcomes. Our top priority has always been to offer viable, common-sense solutions for our clients, in and out of court. In addition to providing interpretations of current legal issues through regular client communications and low-cost professional development seminars, our firm’s attorneys and staff provide leadership and support to local organizations with volunteer time, board service, or charitable events.
“I think people have success at different levels and in different ways, but I think if you work hard, and if you understand relationships in the sense of doing things that meet the needs of both your clients and your partners, you really start to build a strong foundation.
You have to understand that if you’re going to be in the legal profession you have to function in a kind of communal way. Your activities should not only accommodate the objectives of the group, but as well as your own professional activities. You quickly understand that you’re selling your time, and you have to realize that it is necessary to be part of this process of meeting your partners’ and clients’ needs.
Being productive is not just doing the work, but constantly looking for other opportunities within your professional field and within your community as well. Giving back to the community not only serves the purpose of getting your services and work out to the public so that people become aware of you but being able to use your talents to help the community and go the extra mile with other, I think, goes a long way.”
2020 has undoubtedly been an unpredictable and impactful year, and so we use the occasion of our celebration twentieth anniversary to look back and appreciate what we’ve built, but more importantly, we hope to focus on what is to come next. In these conversations with the KingSpry founders, you will find a common theme of hard work, integrity, and equitableness is what guides us, and what has kept the firm’s lasting and cultivating influence on the Lehigh Valley flourishing.
“I certainly hope people look at this firm as being highly competent, practical, creative, and reasonable. We try to be reasonable and search for solutions rather than to try to rigidly apply and approach situations in a defined and ridged formulistic way. We want to address issues that clients have and seek way to solve them effectively and efficiently.
To be successful in this profession, you have to work hard in the front end. I have always said that, at least in this market, you have to basically develop you own book of business, develop your own clientele and loyalty.
We are not just lawyers, but we are teachers as well. One of the things that we’ve successfully done, that I am most proud of, is our efforts in creating publications, seminars, and professional education workshops for our clients through our Greyfriars Institute. It goes a long way with clients and our community.
The most important thing for me, is showing up, but it is no longer enough to just put your feet under your desk and work hard from nine to five. There is a lot of competition, and you have to be active in the community, you have to write, you have to join boards. I’ve always had the mindset to work a lot on the front end and throughout my career, but also to look for opportunities to be creative, hardworking, and innovative.”
In our first twenty years, KingSpry has grown and expanded into a full-service law firm, including expertise in a wide range of public and private sector areas, from family law, business, employment, and commercial real estate, to education, litigation, estate planning, title services and municipal work. With our next twenty years on the horizon, the question is, what comes next?
“We are a well-recognized and respectable firm in the Valley. It is the largest firm in Northampton County and one of the major players in the Valley. It is so rewarding that KingSpry has developed a reputation as a quality and innovative firm that does great legal work over the last twenty years.
The firm has to continue to evolve; the culture today should be different than it was twenty years ago. As you become larger, you have to become more corporate, but you always need to remember your roots. The work just doesn’t flow in. You have to keep it. So, as much as I would love to focus on the expansion of the firm, it is also important to keep in mind the importance of quality and competent work.”
“One of the things that I have always said and have always preached, and I am not sure that we have really achieved it as a firm, is to be creative in our delivery of legal services. In the future, legal services will be different than they are now. They are certainly different than when I started years ago. I think there will be a lot of interdisciplinary emphasis, and you know, you have seen that for years in accounting firms that are basically law firms within accounting firms. So, I could see the firm hopefully becoming more diversified and not just doing the same kind of legal function that it has always done.
Hopefully, the firm becomes more transactional and more diverse in the services it provides and continues to strive to be technologically adept, because technology is growing and has already drastically changed the legal profession. I’ve always been an advocate that, at least in this market, you have to continue to grow or you will die.”
“I think this firm has thrived, in particular over this last challenging year, but our attorneys and staff have continued to work hard under difficult and challenging circumstances over that past twenty years, and the firm has continued to flourish. I think the ability to adjust and to change to meet your current needs is essential. No matter where your career takes you, you have the primary responsibility to be proactive and to identify what you are doing that meets both the needs of yourself and the team. The things you need to be successful aren’t going to be dropped in your lap, and I personally think that opportunities were more available to us thirty and forty years ago than they are now. So, you have to work harder in terms of developing a practice.
I see the future as being very bright based on the human resource that is here, and there is a lot of people that really go the extra mile to make this place work the way it should work.”
Hard work, teamwork, and honesty — three attributes that have propelled KingSpry through a successful twenty years of legal service. Hopefully, KingSpry has left a positive and lasting impression on the Lehigh Valley through creative, professional, and resourceful legal work, and KingSpry will continue to grow and evolve with the world and inspire those to be diligent and innovative, while doing right by others along the way.