I came to S&C the first time for the work: my goal was to develop into a well-rounded litigator, and I was looking for a law firm with a top general litigation practice. After leaving to work in the government for four years, I came back to S&C because of the work and the people. The wonderful relationships that I had developed with my colleagues at S&C had endured during my absence from the Firm. The opportunity to help grow the Firm’s criminal defense and investigations practice, while at the same remaining committed to a generalist litigation practice—and to do it with people whom I liked and respected—made it an easy decision.
The most rewarding part of working at S&C is that virtually every problem that we confront is incredibly interesting and incredibly difficult. The constant challenge means that no day is like any other. Our approach to solving our clients’ most difficult problems is to bring to bear the knowledge, experience, and insight from across the Firm’s practice areas. Collaborating with the smartest lawyers in the world to devise thoughtful and innovative solutions to problems that, at first blush, seemed intractable is what makes this the most interesting job that a lawyer can have.
I came to S&C the summer after law school, before a two-year clerkship. That summer was enough to convince me that S&C was a perfect fit—the work was fascinating, and the culture of collegiality and professionalism was just what I was looking for. At the end of my clerkship, I rejoined as an associate and spent three years working on everything from securities class actions to antitrust to employment litigation to white-collar criminal investigations. I left the Firm to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York because of the opportunity to serve the community, learn the ins and outs of criminal law, and develop as a trial attorney. I returned home to S&C in 2005 and became a partner in 2008. In many ways I feel like I’ve had the best of both worlds: I grew up at S&C—steeped in the Firm’s culture, values and training—but I also got to see the world outside of the Firm and develop on-my-feet litigation skills more quickly than I otherwise might have.
I’ve worked with and against incredibly talented lawyers wherever I’ve been. But the smartest lawyers I’ve ever met work here at S&C. Our culture of collaboration means that I get to take advantage of the amazing breadth and depth of their abilities. Almost every day I find myself reaching out to one of my colleagues for guidance in an area of his or her expertise, and I’m often on the receiving end of those calls, too. In all the years I’ve worked at S&C, no one here has ever responded to one of my requests for assistance except in the most gracious possible way—people make time to help, and they care about the quality of the advice that we give, even if it’s not one of their matters. There’s never a feeling of underlying competition among us—we rise or fall as a firm. We believe that all of our clients' problems are multidimensional, and that’s how we approach our practice.
I came back to S&C after my stint in the government in large part because of the relationships that I had developed in my career as an associate. At that time, there was no formal mentoring program at the Firm, but mentoring was nevertheless ingrained in the culture. I realized how strong the bonds I had made were when they endured after my departure. Even after I left the Firm, I stayed in touch with many of the people I had worked with. There were at least half a dozen people at S&C whom I could and did call for career and other advice. And the Firm continued to make me feel like I remained a member of the extended family. So when the time came for me to return to private practice, I didn’t look anywhere else. Because I felt that the lawyers at S&C cared about me and were invested in my success, coming back to the Firm felt like coming home. I try hard now to be on the opposite side of those relationships—to take the time to get to know and mentor our young lawyers. It’s a great feeling to welcome them into the partnership. And even when they go off to work somewhere else, I take special pride in following their successes and feeling like they took a little bit of my advice into the world.
When it comes to outside interests, I wish I had a more interesting answer. But to be honest, when I’m not working, I’m usually spending time with my wife and our twins. My son is a budding young athlete, and I coached his Little League baseball team for four years. Now he plays on a travel team that has already outstripped my coaching ability, and I just cheer from the stands. My daughter is a dancer and a gymnast, and I never miss her events either. Being a dad is the most important thing in the world to me—so I guess interesting hobbies will have to wait until they’re grown up. After work and family, if I have any time left over, I’m usually reading a book or watching the New York Yankees.
Read more about why our lawyers chose S&C:
- William B. Monahan, Litigation Partner
- Stephanie G. Wheeler, Litigation Partner
- Robert J. Giuffra Jr., Litigation Partner
- Tracy Richelle High, Litigation Partner