I know it may seem cliche for a lawyer to talk about justice…
But, the truth is, long before I became a personal injury and social security disability lawyer, I marched with my parents for the protection of everyone’s civil rights and workers’ rights in the 1960s.
It is funny to think about it now, after all this time, that I would make a career standing up for people who have been unjustly injured and harmed by citizens and the government, alike.
As I think back on it, I think it all started with my grandfather…so maybe it is in my DNA.
He escaped the oppressive government regime in Poland and made his way to New York with the immigrant wave looking for a better life.
He worked hard in the textile mills of Manhattan under a different oppressive regime of factory owners that fostered terrible and dangerous working conditions.
But, if offered him great opportunity and the ability to change a system…even if it would take a few generations for me to happen (and be the lawyer that changed some things).
His experiences were handed down to my father and mother who were both regular, hardworking people – a teacher and a nurse, respectively – who always made a point to stand up for the rights of others.
As a child of the 1960s, I remember them bringing me to rallies supporting the civil rights of minorities and worker’s. My father was very active in the teacher’s union and an outspoken critic of policies that would harm the basic rights of everyone.
His voice carried with me as I made my way through college and began working with lawyers who were protecting disadvantaged tenants from getting wrongfully evicted by landlords.
These lawyers left a lasting impression on me. They cared about real justice for real people.
They were not consumed by the prospect of money…but the prospect of doing the right thing.
Hard to believe in this day and age…but it left such a mark on me that I decided to go to law school soon after college.
While I can’t say I loved law school, in fact, I hated it. That’s mainly because most of my peers were consumed by a capitalist mentality: become a lawyer and make money.
That was it.
I wanted something more with my life…and thanks to my experience with great lawyers fighting for justice, in the trenches, I saw there was a way to make it my life’s work to fight for the justice of others.
I served for over 15 years, traveling the country helping hardworking, low-income people resolve legal issues such as working conditions and immigrant rights.
It is hard to believe, but you could say my grandfather left me with an unspoken desire (and directive) to protect hardworking, people just like him.
And, importantly for you, it really taught me how to be an amazing trial lawyer.
I don’t toot my horn too often, but working in legal aid meant I learned a lot of stuff really quick because no-one else wanted to do the work. So, I was forced to.
Through the process of representing these clients, I found myself in court ALOT. I have spent countless hours toiling away in the courtroom, writing and crafting arguments to judges and juries alike.
I filed hundreds of cases at that state and appellate court levels and have an excellent track record for winning cases.
This allowed me to really hone the craft of being a convincing and persuasive trial lawyer over the span of my 30 plus year career.
Eventually, I wanted to start a family of my own.
So, I transitioned to finding work, locally in the North Country, as a disability and personal injury lawyer. It allowed me to work in one place, raise a family and get justice for my clients.
After all, I believe whether you are a hardworking immigrant or a hardworking disability and injury victim, you deserve to get justice in the midst of an oppressive system that prevents you from getting what you need (and are owed).
Get Schneider & Palcsik on your side
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