Name: Roy Schwartz
Company Name: Zetlin & De Chiara LLP
Address: 801 Second Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY
Real estate organizations: Building Congress, AIA Queens
Who are some leaders that you admire and why?
My personal hero is Bill Gaines, who had the coolest job ever…publishing MAD Magazine. Gaines helped create a hugely influential magazine, ran a fun office infused with his quirky sense of humor, and defended his publications against censorship (and, in the process, also helped create laws protecting satire).
What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
I spent hours and hours (and more hours) building with Legos. I built cities, skyscrapers, Medieval castles, giant robots, and especially lots of really cool spaceships with lasers and huge rockets. These may have had something to do with my career choice as a construction attorney (though I have not had any cases yet involving cool spaceships with lasers and huge rockets).
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
Much of it is based upon rolling up my sleeves and working hard. Much of my practice (construction litigation, including representing design professionals) involves a lot of document review, organization, and a keen eye toward detail, and all of this requires putting in the extra hours to get the client an excellent result.
What advice can you offer to someone who is just getting started in your industry?
If you’re graduating law school, start off with a judicial clerkship so that you can learn the rules of litigation and, more important, learn how judges think and how courtrooms function. Also, start meeting people early because you’re going to see the same faces throughout your career (regardless of what field you practice in).