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Philadelphia magazine has named F. Harry Spiess Jr. ’64 among the best legal minds in Pennsylvania.

Spiess and two of his law partners received the honor, which is determined by results of a mailing of more than 34,00 ballots to lawyers statewide and is reserved for less than five percent of the state’s attorneys.

“I suspect that the relationships I have established with other attorneys is the reason that they decided to vote for me in this regard,” he says.

Although it is a rarity today for someone to spend his entire career with the same company, Spiess has remained at the law offices of Davis Bennet Spiess & Pendergast (formerly Greenwell Porter Smaltz & Royal) since graduating from Villanova University School of Law in 1968.

His specialty is real estate and transactional law, and he takes on several cases each year pro bono.

“I find the rewards [of my position] are in being able to help a person solve a particularly emotional or difficult problem or issue,” he says. “As a transactional lawyer, I attempt to stay abreast of all areas of civil law and have a working knowledge of these areas so that I may identify legal issues for a client in attempting to solve the client’s problem.”

A psychology graduate, Spiess credits many Lafayette professors with having an impact on him, citing in particular J. Marshal Brown, former head of psychology, and Howard Gallup, professor emeritus of psychology.

“Gallup was an inspirational professor,” he says.

Brown served as Spiess’ mentor in a research project involving the best way of spacing the digits in a telephone number for ease of recollection.

“He and I went to Bell Telephone research labs in New Jersey and discussed the project with several research persons there and borrowed a machine that I utilized in my experimentation on campus,” he explains. “I tried to determine whether it was easier to remember a number using letters and numbers, or all numbers, and where it was best to separate the numbers and letters.”

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles