Joe A. Garza, Jr. brings decades of in-house experience to Fulton Jeang PLLC where he provides his clients guidance from a legal perspective balanced with a business mindset. Joe headed up legal teams that oversaw a wide variety of projects at Verizon and Dex Media before making a change to private practice. We're glad that he found some time to chat with us.
FJ: Would you tell us what influenced you in making the decision to become a lawyer? Have you always planned to pursue law as a career?
JG: Two things. I worked several summers while in college in the Bexar County Deed Records office and came in contact with many real estate attorneys and lender attorneys during those two summers. I also had dorm mates in undergraduate school that influenced my decision to become an attorney. Interesting enough, one of those dorm mates later became the Chief Judge on the Illinois Supreme Court. I had not always planned a law career.
FJ: How did you find your way to Fulton Jeang?
JG: The virtual law firm business model was ideal for me, as a 25 year in-house lawyer, to continue to act as an outsourced attorney to small and medium sized businesses. Our virtual business model actually makes legal advice to these underserved companies affordable.
FJ: Please tell us some of your career highlights or recent “wins.”
JG: After a 25 year in-house career, I learned how to market myself to secure clients. I do not consider myself an expert in marketing, and I feel I am still learning how to best reach out to potential clients. I enjoy being a trusted advisor to my clients and help them navigate a wide range of legal issues. With the support and marketing efforts of the firm, I expect to make even greater strides. As for a "win," I am proud of obtaining a 12b6 dismissal for our client in a case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of TX that had a “big” law firm representing the plaintiff. Our partner Lori Shaw helped me with this case.
FJ: Why does Fulton Jeang’s virtual business model suit your practice and lifestyle?
JG: I am able to price my services to the clients so that they can afford them. Many times I will quote and bill a flat fee on a specific project, and the clients appreciate that flexibility. As an early riser, I am at my desk early and as the day wears on, I get a lot accomplished and still have time to spend time with family and travel. I also have at least one or two pro-bono matters that I am working on for free or a reduced fee. FJ: What are your sweet spots for client/legal issues you love to work on?
JG: When I interview a client about a problem, I typically spot issues that they have not considered. We prioritize our work to minimize their legal risk going forward. FJ: What can the firm do to help you reach your goals for the next year?
JG: I think we need to incorporate short videos or links to short videos on our home landing page and attorney biography pages. For example this spotlight could have easily been a ten minute video. Finally, I think that attorney collaboration is important. I try to collaborate with our attorneys when they have more expertise in a field that my client needs.
FJ: Yes, we do have plans to launch a youtube channel and incorproate videos in our marketing efforts. I would love to have your contribution in that effort! Finally, what do you do for fun?
JG: I have the primary responsibility to spoil my grandchildren. I still run/jog 5-6 times a week. We also have season tickets to the Notre Dame and Texas home games: we attend between 8-10 games in the fall. Finally, after that awful covid scare, we just came back from a ten day trip to Ireland and we've already discussed next summer’s trip on the way back.
FJ: Thank you so much for your time! I want to hear all about your trip to Ireland!
Joe's web bio is at About Joe Garza | Fulton Jeang PLLC