Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Jessica M. Moore
November 1, 2023
An avowed logic-loving, puzzle-solving bookworm, Jessica Moore could have happily stayed a student forever.
Her Long Island high school offered an assortment of elective law classes – constitutional law, criminal law, etc. – and she signed up for all of them. She also competed on the mock trial team, because it gave her an opportunity to read cases and analyze majority and dissenting opinions. Later, she doubled up as an undergraduate at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., majoring in both political science and psychology, and enjoyed studying for the LSAT. And while in law school at Georgetown University, she immersed herself not only in coursework but also the crucible of learning that only a nation’s capital can provide.
“I lived right on Capitol Hill,” Jessica says. “The Supreme Court was in walking distance. It wasn’t abnormal to be walking around campus and suddenly see Secret Service. I picked classes that were interesting to me. I found myself reading the case law, reading the theories behind different laws. I loved every second. If I could have stayed in law school three more years, I would have. But at some point, you’ve got to graduate.”
After graduation, Jessica followed the well-worn path of so many before her and took a job in late 2007 at a large firm in Manhattan whose biggest client was Bear Stearns. Not long after, the 2008 financial crisis hit, the global investment bank collapsed and Jessica decamped to a small boutique firm that specialized in hedge funds, which ultimately were decimated by the crisis, as well.
“It was not a good time to graduate from law school, let me tell you,” she recalls.
Finding herself at an unexpected crossroads in her young career, Jessica did what came naturally: She went back to school, earning her Master of Laws degree in tax from New York University.
Next, eager to return to her native Long Island, she began practicing real estate law with Lazer, Aptheker, Rosella & Yedid – and has done so ever since. (Lazer combined with Bond, Schoeneck & King in 2022.) She represents clients in a wide range of real estate transactions, including the acquisition and disposition of commercial, multifamily and mixed-use properties up and down the East Coast.
“I really like practicing in this area,” she says. “Contracts, lease drafting, negotiation – it’s all almost like another language puzzle. You work on them until there are no holes left, no potential ambiguity and your client is protected.”
Jessica’s client, Donato Settanni of DXE Properties, appreciates that attention to detail.
“Our firm has worked with Jessica for over seven years through countless transactions,” he says. “She is a proven dealmaker who gets transactions to the finish line while protecting our interests in each unique situation we encounter as both a buyer and seller of real estate.”
When she’s not poring over real estate documents, Jessica still enjoys a good puzzle. However, just about every moment of her “free” time goes toward managing the intricate schedules of her four children, ages 11, 9, 7 and 5.
“My downtime is really not for me,” she says, chuckling. “I’m shuttling them to various activities – dance, sports, orchestra.”
And sometimes she has to deal with her kids’ ridicule, as when Mom gets excited to read about a client’s success in the news.
“We have been working with some of our clients for many, many years, and I’ve seen some of them grow from small start-ups to large, successful developers,” she says. “It’s very rewarding, for our entire group, to see it in the paper. My kids roll their eyes at me.”