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Samuel W. Seymour

Partner, New York

Criminal Defense and Investigations

Why S&C?
It was the interview process. I asked my interviewers about their cases and they went into detail, and I learned a lot from their responses. Obviously I had asked the same questions when I interviewed at other firms—and it became clear to me that S&C was working on bigger, more interesting and more newsworthy cases, cases that were shaping the law. It was also clear that S&C associates had a higher level of responsibility; associates who were only a few years out of law school were handling small cases by themselves. That really appealed to me.
 
The Work
I do white-collar criminal defense work. What I like the most about it is fact-finding. My work is part sleuthing, part journalism and part psychology. You’re trying your best to figure out what happened and why it happened, in many different contexts. Writing a great brief is fine, arguing in court is fun—I’ve done a lot of that—but, at the end of the day, I think I’ve got an investigative gene. Because what I like the most is adding things up and interviewing people and then trying to assimilate that experience into a compelling narrative.
 
The Path
I came to S&C as a litigation lawyer. I left after five years to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a federal prosecutor for a couple of years. And by the time I came back to S&C, prosecutions and investigations of businesses were really starting to take off. From my perspective, I arrived at the right place at the right time: S&C was beginning to expand its white-collar practice, and I had developed that skill set from my work in government.
 
The People
S&C lawyers are overachievers, self-starters and hardworking people with creative drive. It’s because of them that the Firm has developed such a strong brand. Year in and year out, they deliver for their clients.

It’s not that hard to set up a web site and give your firm a fancy-sounding name and present yourself to the world as a really great firm. But over time, clients are discerning. This is a competitive marketplace, and S&C has been at the top of the heap for decades running. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t keep trying harder. But over the years, our people have won work from the best clients.

The Support
People often think “mentoring” means “training the junior person,” simply helping them along. But the final stage of mentoring comes when the senior person lets go and hands the work over to the junior person. They don’t just say “Here’s how you should give a good oral argument.” They say, “Oh, by the way, I want you to give the oral argument. And I’m going to sit in the back and watch even though I’m the senior guy and I’ve done it a million times. I want to watch you do it and hand over those opportunities to you, too.” That’s real mentoring.
 
The Passion
What gets me up in the morning is running. I’m a big runner. I happily run in the morning. My wife [S&C partner Karen Seymour] and I ran the Paris marathon together in April. Beautiful race.
 
So, right now I’m marathon training and, in fact, I was just checking what I have to do tomorrow—seven miles with 10 hill trainings, up and down a hill 10 times, which is a bit of a bummer, but you just have to put your head down and do it.


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