Years ago, becoming a lawyer appealed to me because it seemed like a great way to educate people so they could help themselves. When I was at Cornell University in the early '60s, I saw a huge general need for better understanding of each other's circumstances — across different communities.
I thought it was important for people to at least be able to see the line that divides them and do something about it. I knew that I wanted to make a difference helping people to better understand their place in society and decided to attend Syracuse University, College of Law.
It wasn't quite clear to me until later that I wanted my core emphasis to be on criminal defense law, so after I got my J.D. I spent some time gaining legal experience in the courtroom managing litigation for Braniff Airways, in addition to being a collections attorney.
I also successfully overturned a case for adverse labor arbitration in federal court in '78 in the southern district of New York. This accomplishment meant a great deal to me since it aligned with what I studied in school — industrial and labor relations. If I could do my part righting the wrongs against those accomplishing good, hard work, I could be an upstanding member of society.
By helping people understand what they need to do now and in the future about their criminal charges, I get to help create closer communities.