In honor of our firm’s 25th Anniversary, we asked our attorneys and staff to tell us about their experience at Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller. Some of their answers are included below.
Tell us about an interesting case you’ve worked on at Hangley Aronchick
Jason Levine: I recently handled a pro bono habeas case in which my client’s 20-year conviction was vacated, which is incredibly rare in a federal habeas case.
Amy Glessner: Working on the redevelopment of the Cherry Hill Mall and the outbuildings and restaurants on the site was probably the most fun I’ve had working in general. To see it all come together was a thrill.
Jerry Shoemaker: I had a fascinating matter dealing with the interpretation of a Dutch prenuptial agreement.
Kelley Fazzini: Some of the most interesting matters I have worked on as a family lawyer have involved nontraditional family arrangements – grandparents seeking custody, third parties in loco parentis seeking custody, half siblings seeking custody, etc.
Have you ever worked on a case that changed your perspective in some way?
Matthew Hamermesh: We represented a mentally disabled man on death row, helping him remove his death sentence. That case helped me see how our work affects people from the client’s perspective.
Adam Schupack: I helped a Dominican immigrant obtain U.S. citizenship, which changed her life, and helped me to better understand the complicated layers of the immigration system.
Jason Levine: Several cases involving pass-through entities (e.g., S-corps and LLCs) changed my perspective because they remind me that these businesses are intensely personal to the client, which informs how I interact with my clients.
Dan Segal: Working on the Luzerne County “Kids-for-Cash” case, in which we represented 2400 juvenile victims of one of the worst judicial scandals in American history, sharpened my sensitivity as to how corruption – particularly judicial corruption – can have a massive and tragic impact on thousands of lives.
What advice would you give to those considering a career in law?
Sue Coyne: Find your niche.
Silvia Antonucci: My advice would be to treat everyone with respect. That will make you known and respected in return.
Christina Matthias: Explore different types of careers by actually immersing yourself in different legal professional environments.
Jason Levine: Be sure you enjoy the development of the law and advocating on others’ behalf. And be sure you want to practice law. It’s a highly rewarding profession, but it can also be grueling, so one should think hard about whether this is something they want to do.
Why did you join Hangley Aronchick?
Cheryl Young: It was a perfect size and fit. The lawyers and staff are terrific lawyers and people. The atmosphere is collegial and allows for individuality and creativity.
Alan Promer: Because it is the best firm in Philly — top talent, top people. Next question.
Ronald Schiller: After twenty-five years at two large firms, this was the only firm I reached out to. The reason is because there was – and is – no other firm in the city like our firm. There is no other firm that has the same quality.
Sharon Weiss: I was at the “old firm” for almost five years when the new firm was born. It was a no-brainer to join: they were a wonderful team of lawyers who seemed genuinely interested in creating a one-of-a-kind firm that everyone – staff included – could be proud of.
What do you think makes Hangley Aronchick different from other firms?
Tom Brown: Because of the way the firm is structured, I have been able to get real litigation experience well before my contemporaries at other firms. The leadership here takes seriously its mission of training the next generation of attorneys.
John Summers: Practicing law here is a profession and career, not a task or job. Our relatively small group is tremendously skilled, and we all know each other well. When you see and value those relationships, you can’t help but treat colleagues, employees, and most importantly, clients in a fair, personable way.
Alex Egervary: I think the fact that so many of our attorneys and staff have been here for so long makes a real difference. This longevity and continuity make this a special place.
Cary Rice: I think it’s the firm’s family atmosphere. Plus, we are often involved in most cutting edge complex matters, which makes every matter interesting and exciting!
What do you think your clients or others outside the firm should know about Hangley Aronchick?
Jerry Shoemaker: We are compassionate and smart lawyers, and we work hard (and smart) for all our clients. Pro bono or billable, large or small – each case is important to us.
Cheryl Young: We are a full service firm whose lawyers truly care about our clients and the ethics of the law, as well as getting the best results possible.
Cary Rice: It’s a place where you can learn about different practices and work on incredibly varied cases, all while becoming the best lawyer you can be.
Ronald Schiller: It’s a remarkable place. People know us by our reputation, they know us by our skill set, they know us by our national reach, and they know us by our unflagging dedication.
Adam Schupack: Creative thinking and leadership are welcomed here. Senior lawyers see you as a colleague, not a number or an automaton. There is no one right way to do things, and we are encouraged to develop our own ideas and legal strategies.
Tell us something about your time at the firm that you are proud of.
Jerry Shoemaker: While I didn’t work on the matter, I am most proud of the firm’s participation in the Whitewood matter, which brought marriage equality to Pennsylvania. Our firm worked with the ACLU to file the first federal lawsuit following United States v. Windsor challenging a state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The firm represented 25 gay and lesbian individuals in Pennsylvania who wished to marry in Pennsylvania or wanted the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages, as well as two children of one of the plaintiff couples.
Maria Seamans: My favorite and proudest moment here was when we won the Whitewood decision, allowing same sex marriage in Pennsylvania.
John Summers: Along with two colleagues, we helped to exonerate a man who was wrongfully convicted of a violent rape and was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 30 years.
Adam Schupack: I am proud of the amicus brief I drafted arguing that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should expand standing in child custody cases to accommodate contemporary families.
What is your favorite firm event or program?
Lisa Salazar: Friday Lunch.
Amy Glessner: Friday Lunch!
Jerry Shoemaker: Hands down – the holiday party!
Bonnie Hoffman: The holiday party, and Team Ampersand softball team.
Cary Rice: Rule of Four lunches!
Adam Schupack: I enjoy the Associates Committee. It’s a unique feature to Hangley Aronchick, and it gives associates a real voice within the firm.