Are You an Outlaw? Meet Andrew Laver

Who has redefined what it means to think outside the law (aka OUTLAW) and is helping each of us in the process? 

Meet Andrew Laver, a Business Development Manager for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. A firm of over 500 lawyers in fifteen offices, Buchanan is one of the longest-standing law firms in the country. Andrew is responsible for the business development efforts of the firm’s Labor, Employment, Benefits & Immigration and Tax Sections. He is resident in the firm’s Philadelphia office.

Active in the Legal Marketing Association since 2008, Andrew was the President of the Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter in 2014, joined the LMA’s Governance Committee in 2015 where he served as Co-Chair from 2017-2018, served as Co-Chair of the 2nd Annual Philadelphia Conference in 2016, served on the 2017 LMA Annual Conference Advisory Committee (Las Vegas), served as the Co-Chair of the 2019 LMA Annual Conference Advisory Committee (Atlanta) and is now serving as a Member-At-Large to the LMA Board of Directors.

Andrew is a graduate of Syracuse University and was president of the Syracuse University Philadelphia Alumni Club from 2007-2010. Since then, he has served on the board of the Syracuse University National Alumni Association, Inc. in various committee, ex officio, and board roles. He recently completed his second two-year term as Vice President of the Alumni Association and, as a member of the Executive Committee, chaired the Awards and Nominating Committees.

We asked Andrew a few questions, and his answers can be found below. Enjoy getting to know this Outlaw!

Q: Where would you like to live?
A: I am a true “Philly guy,” born and raised here and a 4 for 4 fan of the local sports teams. That being said, though, if I had the opportunity to pack up the family and live in a place that doesn’t hurt my face in the winter, I’d be in San Diego in a heartbeat. Sure, I would miss the changing of the seasons (and my favorite sports teams), but I have always had a special place in my heart for “America’s Finest City.” Between the stellar climate, its ocean-side location and delicious food scene, there is no better place to be in California! Now, if I could only convince my wife to sit for the California Bar…

Q: What is your idea of happiness?
A: I really love sitting on the beach, watching my kids play with each other in the sand and ocean and reading a book or zoning out. These days, so much of what we do in our day job requires us to be “on” nearly 24/7, so when I’m able to sit back and disengage, it is a welcome respite from the daily grind and needs of our (internal) clients.

Q: What is your motto?
A: This is an unconventional choice, but when I was younger I heard the 1977 song, “You Can’t Hide From Yourself” sung by Philly’s own Teddy Pendergrass. In the song, he sings:

You can’t hide from yourself
everywhere you go there you are.

The truth is a light,
light shining within
When you look in the mirror
do you see a foe or a friend.
You can lie all you wanna
but one day you’re gonna,
gonna breakdown, breakdown and let it all out.

Make peace with yourself before you can love another
understand who and what you are before you can go any further.
You can lie all you wanna
but one day you’re gonna,
gonna breakdown, breakdown and let it all out.

You can’t hide, you can’t hide.
Look in the mirror – there you are.
Walking down the street, well –
look in the store window, there you go.
There you are.

You might do somebody wrong today,
but I swear you gonna make up for it tomorrow.
So you gotta reap what you sow.
No matter what you do… where you go.
You can’t hide… you can’t hide.
You can’t hide no… from yourself

You’ve gotta deal with yourself.
You’ve gotta sleep with yourself.
You’ve gotta be with yourself all the time.
No matter what you do.

For whatever reason, this song (written by Gamble & Huff, also from Philly!) has stuck with me through the years. Therefore, I’d say my motto is “you can’t hide from yourself…everywhere you go, there you are!”

Q: What is your greatest fear?
A: Probably failure, either professionally or personally. No matter how much success I may attain, I’ll always want more and the fear of not being able to reach those goals has a tendency to slow me down (or hold me back). If I could give advice to my younger professional self, though, I’d advise to be prepared to be told no, to be rejected and to be dismissed. It is up to [you] to continue to learn, to teach and become the trusted advisor that will be told yes, will be accepted and will be welcomed at the table. Looking back in my career (to date), I do not think that I was ever trying to see the forest of my career through the trees of my current job and, had I done that, I may have been able to deal with some of those bumps with more aplomb. I could use my own advice going forward to overcome the fear of failure and continue to flourish.

Q: Finish this sentence: “If I could have one super-power, it would be…”
A: …the ability to pause time. I was a huge fan of the 1980’s sitcom “Out of This World” about a teenage girl, Evie Garland, who discovered on her 13th birthday that her father is an alien and her half alien heritage gives her the superhuman power to pause time. This super-power always appealed to me because I sometimes have a tendency to speak before thinking (if you know me well you know I have no filter)…or replying before considering the ramifications of what I was about to say or do. With the ability to pause time, I’d be able to step back, fully contemplate what I was about to say and reconsider or self-censure.

Q: Who are your favorite authors/ what are your favorite books?
A: I am a big fan of Daniel Silva and the Gabriel Allon series. Now on the 19th book in the series, the “beach reads” follow the life of Gabriel Allon, an Israeli intelligence spy and main protagonist in the thriller and espionage series. While the series initially focused on the backstory of Allon (i.e. his career began in 1972 when he and several other recurring characters in the book were plucked from civilian life to participate in “Operation Wrath of God,” an act of vengeance to hunt down and eliminate those responsible for killing Israel athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics), the more recent books in the series have focused on (or imitated) current events, including changes in the White House and global terrorism. Despite the heavy subject matter, the books are a light and easy read while commuting to work on the train or sitting on the beach over the summer.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A: While there are certainly many that I considered listing, the easy answer is my grandfather Morris Davis. Moe, as he was commonly known, or Zay (short for Zayde, Yiddish for grandfather), was my de facto father figure for much of my childhood who sadly passed in 2006, a few months after my wedding. When I was young, I can vividly remember my grandfather reading the newspaper to me with my favorite sections being the sports page and the comics. Sundays were always special when the comics were printed in color and seemed to grow in size. As I grew, he explained how to read the baseball box scores and helped me learn the intricacies of the sport. Growing up, my (single) mother worked full time so when I needed someone to schlep me to Hebrew school, after school activities and practices for little league. Zay was my chauffeur. I clearly recall him picking me up at elementary school on October 26, 1989 and driving me to the hospital to meet my new baby brother, Michael. I believe that my strong work ethic comes from watching my grandfather while growing up. Although I was not old enough to remember when he was still working full time, I do know that he volunteered most of his retired time for others, including counseling and driving dialysis patients for treatment, being a dialysis patient himself. I would use that dinner to tell him all that he’s missed since he left us thirteen years ago, share all of my successes, brag on my children and to hear him say to me one more time, “Who loves ya, baby?”

Q: What got you into working in the legal industry?
A: For the sake of having a job to pay for my first car, I started working for a solo practitioner as a file clerk while in high school, so I have been working in the legal industry since 1996. My transition into legal marketing took place in 2007, while I was leading the paralegal department at a mid-sized Philadelphia insurance defense firm. It was then I realized that, after working in a law firm part-time since high school and full time after college, that I no longer wanted to live under the thumb of the billable hour. I knew that I needed to find a way to combine my 10+ years of legal experience with my communications and marketing background and degree from Syracuse University. A relative was working at a Philadelphia law firm and invited me to join her at a LMA Philadelphia educational lunch. Upon arrival, I knew that these were my people and this was where I needed to be. I networked my rear end off to land my first in-house job at Fox Rothschild and the rest is history!

Without a doubt my success can be directly correlated to the LMA and the amazing network of professional and lifelong friends I have made along the way. It is such an inclusive, welcoming and helpful association and nearly every single person I’ve met and worked with is willing to share and help so that we can all be successful in our jobs while also excelling in our careers. Without my core group of best friends and my wide-reaching extended group of “LMA family” members, I am not certain where I would be at this point in my life and career.

Q: Your favorite musician/ band?
A: While my fandom pales in comparison to other past “Outlaws,” I am a huge fan of the Dave Matthews Band and have seen them in concert over 30 times. That number has trailed off recently since my children were born but I view Dave and his songs as the soundtrack of my youth, having first being introduced to them early in high school on a bootleg live cassette tape recording from a show in Virginia and then following me through college and into my 20s. In addition to DMB, I can also recite nearly every Billy Joel song and have seen him in concert numerous times as well, including outdoors the past six summers at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. My diverse musical interests ranges from the Eagles to Lizzo to Rod Stewart to Mumford & Sons to The Barenaked Ladies and The Notorious B.I.G., to name a few.

Q: Your favorite virtue?
A: Honor is a foundational virtue that I rely upon to guide my life and decisions. As Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”