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Sciacca Law Celebrates 10 Years Helping New Yorkers

Sciacca Law Celebrates 10 Years Helping New Yorkers by Tom Sciacca

{Read in 3 minutes} May 2017 marks ten years since I opened the doors to my law practice. At 30 years old, opening my practice was both exciting and terrifying. I was up to my eyeballs in student loan debt, yet I had just left a position with a midtown firm with steady work and a steady paycheck. But I was in the greatest city in the world and had some dreams to chase.

It was very exciting, but there were so many unanswered questions: Would clients hire me without the backing of a larger firm name and support staff? Would judges and opposing counsel take me seriously as a young solo? Could I afford the year-long commitment I made to sublet my tiny office? Would I starve to death, face-down in a sewer (or some other cliche), if I were unable to generate income?

These fears turned out to be great motivators, and I have been very fortunate to build a law practice with wonderful clients, staff, and colleagues. After just a few months, I found that I woke up every morning looking forward to the day, and as they say, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” Even 10 years!

Sometimes people ask for the secret to my success. While it is flattering to hear from colleagues that they think I am successful, I personally consider success to be a long-term goal rather than a present state of being. It’s all about reaching the next milestone, and then asking “What’s next?”

Working solo meant that I could provide legal services at a much more reasonable price, and clients came knocking quickly. The week I moved into my tiny and unfurnished first office, I was actually too busy to fully set up. I could see that I was filling a niche with the services I offered and reasonable fees I charged, and the end result of that was working with a lot of people who might have gone years without legal help.

Community service outside of work has gone hand-in-hand with my personal success, and it’s not a formula I plan on changing. I provide a lot by way of pro bono legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney—by either directly taking on private clients, volunteering at organizations, or by asking Courts to appoint me as attorney in cases that have little to no monetary value—but mean a great deal to the people involved.

And that’s why I became a Trusts & Estates attorney to begin with. I believe that being a Trusts & Estates attorney is one of the most personal things anyone can do with a law degree. The matters I handle are incredibly personal to each of my clients:

-What happens to their families upon their deaths?

-Who will make their final arrangements?

-Who will provide for their spouses, children, pets, and other family members?

-Who will pay the bills?

-Can family members continue to rely on that person for financial support by way of an inheritance?

I cannot overstate how grateful I am to the many mentors I have had—other attorneys who had opened their own firms before me and were so generous with their time in making helpful suggestions to me. It’s because of them that I now count 550 former and current clients—many of them dating back to that stuffy office way back in 2007.

And, of course, I am so grateful to the clients who continue to make my dream possible and who have been so generous to me not only by engaging my firm, but by also referring their family, friends, and colleagues to me for legal services. I have always believed that a referral from a satisfied client is the highest form of flattery. And it’s not just clients who refer new business to this firm—I am also fortunate enough to get referrals from a variety of professionals and also many of my fellow T&E attorneys; many T&E attorneys do not litigate as part of their practice, and refer their clients to me to handle Will contests and inheritance disputes. A referral from a colleague is especially flattering, knowing they have chosen me among several other attorneys in their networks.

So, I end this blog post humbly: thank you. Thank you to everyone who believed in me and my dream. Your support lets me keep going and practicing law the way I believe it should be practiced every single day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tom Sciacca