IAM783- Founder Helps Individuals To Solve legal difficulties

Podcast Interview JESSICA ORNSBYI

Jessica T. Ornsby is the founder of A+O Law Group, a Washington, DC-based litigation law firm. Jessica received her J.D. and LL.M. from Georgetown University and uses her legal experience to serve families and individuals facing legal difficulties related to family law, landlord-tenant, and business matters.

  • CEO Hack: Point system. I give each activity a point and my target is close to five points a day
  • CEO Nugget: Always remember a CEO isn't an employee
  • CEO Defined: Be a visionary



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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

[00:00:29.80] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jessica Oransby of A+O Law Group. Jessica, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.89] – Jessica Oransby

It's so great to be here.

[00:00:41.79] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Jessica so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Jessica T. Ornsby is the founder of A+O Law Group, a Washington, DC-based litigation law firm. Jessica received her J.D. and LL.M. from Georgetown University and uses her legal experience to serve families and individuals facing legal difficulties related to family law, landlord-tenant, and business matters. Jessica, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:10.29] – Jessica Oransby

I'm ready.

[00:01:11.50] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more about how you got started. Could you take us through your CEO story and we'll let you get started with your business?

[00:01:21.00] -Jessica Oransby

Yeah. So I decided to start in a law group after I graduated from law school and started working at a big firm. And in many ways, it was sort of this, perfect job. A lot of law students hope to get that type of job, but I was miserable and I couldn't figure out why. And what I realized was that even though I was making a decent salary and was in the sort of upper echelon of the legal community, I wasn't serving my community. I was not representing clients who looked like me, and I wasn't representing people who had issues that I could relate to. And so I said, well, let me create a piece of the pie that I wanna eat, And so I decided to start my practice.

[00:02:04.29] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that and appreciate that. I think that's in true entrepreneurial form. And so many times we're not sure. Well, we see problems, and we're not sure exactly how to solve those problems. But I think it's a true entrepreneur that says, hey. You know, this pie doesn't represent exactly what I want it to, so let me recreate the pie. Let me change up the recipe and create something that, come becomes exactly what I want it to be.

[00:02:24.09] – Jessica Oransby


[00:02:25.80] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here a little bit more about A and O, Law Group. Could you take us through exactly how you serve the clients you work with?

[00:02:34.80] – Jessica Oransby

So I represent clients in mostly family law, landlord-tenant, and business as you stated. And I help clients who are really in many ways in some of the most difficult parts of their life. And it's either through mediation, negotiations or through actually representing them in a court case. And what's really great about, the technology that's available to us like Zoom is I can meet clients where they are without costing them additional money, making them travel here or there. So if they have a cell phone, we can hop on a video call. If you have an iPhone, I can hop on a FaceTime call with you so that you have that personal connection even though we're not physically face-to-face. I use mostly or actually exclusively electronic portals so that clients are able to easily communicate with me and send documents. And if we have a mediation, you can do it virtually, or you can do it in person. So I just try to, come up with creative and cost-effective ways to meet the needs of my clients.

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[00:03:39.19] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely love that. You know, except I'm an Android guy, so except for the FaceTime thing. But I love that you're able to kinda take care of, and connect with the clients, you know, and and and leverage this technology because I think, especially, I'm also in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. The traffic situation is not always ideal. And to be able to get to and from and and and and warp speed really with the leveraging the technology we have at our disposal is definitely something that's a huge advantage.

[00:04:07.09] – Jessica Oransby

Yes. I do not envy people who have long commutes, and I do not wanna make my clients have to travel an hour or two or from to get to my office.

[00:04:18.30] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And you you cover the DC, Maryland, and Virginia as far as, like, people you're able to serve as well too?

[00:04:24.19] – Jessica Oransby

So right now, DC and Maryland, at the end of the year, Virginia as well.

[00:04:28.10] – Gresham Harkless

Okay. Perfect. Well, definitely excited about that and being able to kinda serve, this whole entire kinda, I guess you call it somewhat of a tri-state area. Yeah. Even though DC is still working on that. So, Now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you or your organization or unique?

[00:04:49.80] – Jessica Oransby

So I guess what sets me apart and what makes me unique, I think, is the accessibility and the relatability of me as a practitioner to my clients. So there are a lot of attorneys out there and there are a lot of family law attorneys in particular, but I have been in the shoes of my clients many times. I have a blended family. I've been married in divorce. I have a very interesting shared custody situation. I can give my clients advice that's not only based on case law or legal analysis but also from a personal perspective. So I've had situations where I'm telling a judge, look, I know you're saying you're gonna do that, but that doesn't make sense, and here's why. And I can tell them why. I also am very, flexible because being at home with children, I understand that my clients also have things that they have to do at home after work and before work.

So I always try to make sure that I'm available to them at times that I'll make sense for them and their families. And I also am very, very organized. You know, I'm constantly making sure that my practice prioritizes things appropriately, and we're taking care of everything that needs to be done. And in terms of accessibility, I think that's reflected in how I market and how I share information. It's I don't think that the law should feel so disconnected from the community. So I use my social media to share information and to show, like, hey, I'm a real person, and the law, it applies to you, and it's something that you should be thinking about, and you should have a lawyer. And if you need a lawyer and you're in the area, reach out to me, you know, just making sure that people know that lawyers are not just, like, these stuffy people who live in, like, under a rock or Something.

[00:06:51.89] – Gresham Harkless

No. I mean, I think it's definitely a huge thing, and I appreciate that because I don't know if you find this, you know, when you work with your clients, especially in most situations. But definitely, I imagine in legal situations where you feel like you're kinda by yourself. And I think when you're able to obviously, you know, build those connections, those relationships, you know, talk about the humanness of business and even law, which I think sometimes we overlook, it helps provide that opportunity to connect. But I think too, as you kinda talked about, it helps someone know that they're not always alone and they're the only person in the world that maybe went through some type of experience as you're able to kinda speak to that, it sounds like.

[00:07:30.39] – Jessica Oransby

Exactly. I am a big proponent of creating safe spaces. And I know that safe spaces have come up a lot in our community in general. But talking about legal issues should also be a safe space. And so I try to use my social media as a place where you can come and get answers and ask questions and not feel judged and see that there are other people who are dealing with similar issues so you don't feel so isolated.

[00:07:56.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that, even too, like, once you sometimes hear about those situations and you hear how somebody was able to kinda, I guess, overcome it or get through it, that helps you also know that there is sometimes light at the end of the tunnel during difficult situations sometimes.

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[00:08:12.60] – Jessica Oransby


[00:08:14.19] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:08:26.19] – Jessica Oransby

A couple of years ago, I adopted this sort of five-point method, and I give each activity a point. And my goal is to get to five points a day. And I include not just professional tasks, but also personal tasks that make me more effective as a professional. And so, for example, I might have working out. That's one point. That's what's significant. If I can work out, that's a big deal. Onboarding a new client, having a consultation, different things, that I will make sure that I get as close to five points that day as possible. Because when you're the CEO of a company, you don't have someone on top of you making sure that you get your tasks done. And the only people who are really holding you accountable are yourself and your clients when they think you aren't doing your job.

[00:09:17.10] – Gresham Harkless


[00:09:18.39] – Jessica Oransby

And so by adopting this point system, I'm able to have sort of a rounded day.

[00:09:25.60] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:09:38.29] – Jessica Oransby

So if I were to go back and talk to Jessica a few years ago, I would tell her to remember that a CEO is not an employee. And sometimes when we as entrepreneurs say that we wanna start a business, we forget that we have to shift our thinking from that of an employee to that of a CEO. And if you were to walk into a Target, for example, there's a CEO of Target, but you're not going to necessarily see the CEO in the store. They're not necessarily going to be checking you out at your cash register. But that person, you can bet, knows what needs to be done in order for that transaction to take place and what the store should look like. As the CEO, you need to sometimes relinquish control and duties and responsibilities to other people who can put your plan into action, do a good job, and so that you can sit sort of at the high level and make sure that everyone has the resources that they need.

But if you're stuck in the employee mode, you're gonna be trying to do all of the transactions. You're gonna get worn out because the store is gonna be dirty because you can't also be the cashier and loss prevention. And, you know, you can't do everything. You have to be comfortable delegating tasks. And I burned myself out or was on the brink of burning myself out because I was trying to do everything. Investing in staff is truly an investment in your company. A lot of times people think if you're paying people money, but it's like this dollar in dollar out, I think, well, not dollar in dollar out. The dollar out is a dollar lost. That's not necessarily the case. I made way more money having staff than when it was just me. You're able to be more effective. Your clients are happier. You're not gonna be able to answer every call if you're busy. You wanna get to that point. And so you should invest in your company by investing in people. And being able to, provide jobs for your community is a beautiful thing to do as well.

[00:11:48.79] – Gresham Harkless

I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which you kinda touched on, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. So we're hoping to have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Jessica, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:00.60] – Jessica Oransby

To me, being a CEO is to be a visionary. And so that doesn't always mean I'm the one implementing. But a CEO, I think, if you are a visionary and you're putting all the pieces together, that means you're finding the pieces, you're being careful about what pieces you're putting together and curating your vision and putting something that's unique and valuable into the marketplace. And your vision is going to grow and it's going to evolve as the society changes, as the political environment changes, and you as the CEO, you're going to keep molding those pieces and making sure that you have the appropriate parts there. And to me, that's what being a CEO is. The legal profession can seem very, sort of just stationary. But as the visionary of my practice, I've been able to show myself and other lawyers actually that you don't have to market a certain way. You don't have to practice a certain way. And to make practicing law new and exciting for myself and for clients and for, future attorneys as well.

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[00:13:21.00] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. I love that vision that vision piece that you kinda spoke to even when we were talking about kind of a target example. But, e if not even more, I love the idea of curation that you kinda talked about and bringing those pieces together so that it creates that vision for us. And I think so many times, as we talked about before in the nugget, we get caught up in trying to execute every single piece of the curation and the vision that we have. But when we're able to kinda take a step back and to kinda understand, like, maybe what all the pieces are doing, but not necessarily be executed on each and every piece. That's truly when things go to a different level.

[00:13:55.39] – Jessica Oransby

Yes. I find it exciting when a staff member says, hey. Like, when they're teaching me something, hey. Did you know we could do this better? I'm like, great. Thanks for telling me.

[00:14:06.39] – Gresham Harkless


[00:14:07.00] – Jessica Oransby

I get I could easily get bogged down in the weeds. And my to-do list can stretch from here till forever. But if you are investing in your people, they will make you better as well. Mhmm.

[00:14:21.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And it starts to spill out on so many different levels. Obviously, interaction with clients, but also interactions with team members as well. And, again, takes everything to another level. Yes. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Jessica,

[00:14:31.39] – Jessica Oransby

I truly appreciate that.

[00:14:32.00] – Gresham Harkless

I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all of us and things you're working on.

[00:14:47.10] – Jessica Oransby

Sure. Maybe one additional nugget is to not let fear of failure stop you from pursuing whatever it is that's on your heart. There's a reason why it's on your heart. If you're spiritual, there's a reason why God placed it on your heart. And do not let fear stop you. There are so many resources and so many people who are willing to share information and help mentor you. Mentorship is so important. So once you're in a position to be a mentor, please do. But if you're in this position of mentee, there are so many people who are wanting to help you. And if there's one person who is kinda being shady, forget them and find the other ten people who are going to stand in your corner and cheer for you. And so you can find me on Instagram. It is DMV's underscore lawyer. I'm also on Twitter with the same name. I don't tweet a lot yet, but you can find me there. And also on Facebook, Jessica Oransby, and you can shoot me an email anytime,

[00:15:54.39] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I appreciate that, Jessica. And we will have the links and information in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you as well. But I appreciate to appreciate that last nugget as well too. I think so many times, you know, we can get so bogged down with things, and we forget that there's people out there that wanna help us out. There are people that we want to help out as well too and getting the opportunity to kinda create that win-win situation is phenomenal. So I appreciate you for reminding us of that. Appreciate your time as well, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:16:22.29] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


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