Working with numbers was always in the cards for Jay Syverson. “My mom was a math teacher, and whether it was math, finance, or spreadsheets, I’ve enjoyed crunching numbers for as long as I can remember,” he says.
Before law school, Jay joined the Iowa State Association of Counties where he worked with lobbyists and the general counsel, gaining knowledge of the legalities surrounding tax and financial issues. “Because of that experience, I was inspired to pursue a law career,” he says.
The majority of Jay’s practice focuses on estate planning for business owners, farmers, and families. He assists with trusts, estates, wealth transfer, tax issues, and charitable giving.
For Jay, tax law is more clearly defined than many other areas of the law. When working with numbers, Jay can show clients where they are today, how they can grow, and how they can minimize estate or income taxes. “The ability to show clients results with some certainty appeals to me,” he says.
Jay is relatable and approachable, which is essential in his practice areas. “I talk to clients about very personal matters, such as their family, finances, and business issues,” he says. “It’s critical that I connect with them and earn their trust.” Working with family members after a client has died requires a delicate yet direct approach. Jay handles this difficult time with care to ensure all parties understand what is happening as he guides them through the process in a healthful way.
Jay feels fortunate to be at a firm where attorneys can specialize in certain areas, allowing them to become more proficient and handle increasingly sophisticated work in those specialties. “It takes time to gain experience and expertise in any field,” he says. “Having the opportunity to focus on what I do best is valuable to me. And if a client needs something outside of my expertise, I have all the confidence in the world sending them to my colleagues.”
In the community, Jay has been active in the Des Moines Community Playhouse, serving on the board of directors, and is a former president and board member of Winefest Des Moines. Jay also likes to golf, cook, and attend theater performances with his family.
Order of the Coif
Drake Law Review
Executive Editor, 2008–2009
Dwight D. Opperman Scholar
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS
American Bar Association
Iowa State Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association
Des Moines Community Playhouse
Board of Directors, 2014–2016
Winefest Des Moines
Board of Directors, 2016–2020
Board of Directors, 2022
SPEECHES & PUBLICATIONS
“Note, The Inconsistent State of Municipal Home Rule in Iowa,” 57 Drake L. Rev. 263, 2009