Number of years as a member of the WCBA and positions held: I have been a member of the WCBA for the past 10 years and have served as a member of the board of directors since 2011 and as secretary since 2015. In addition, I have served as a co-chair of the CLE Committee since 2013 and was co-chair of the New Lawyers Section from 2009 to 2011.
Awards and Honors Received: I was honored with the 2014 WCBA New Lawyers Leadership Award. I was also selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list 2013-2015.
My current job and practice area are: I have been with the firm of Shamberg Marwell Hollis Andreycak & Laidlaw, P.C. since graduating law school in 2005. My areas of practice include zoning & land use law and general litigation, including real property conflicts and business disputes.
How I decided to practice zoning & land use law: It was during my time as a summer associate after my second year of law school that I was bitten by the zoning and land use bug. I was already pursuing an environmental law concentration in Pace Law School but this specific area of the law was very interesting in that it combined the issues of property rights and environmental considerations. I ended up taking a Land Use course with the notable Professor John Nolon in my third year, and the rest is history.
One of my favorite legal success stories: It was actually the first case that I worked on out of law school. Our firm represented a religious organization in a zoning declaratory judgment case and I assisted in drafting the brief to the Court of Appeals, delivered the papers myself, and sat for the oral argument. Our firm won that case, as well as several others that followed involving the same municipality and organization.
If I were not practicing law I would be: Probably a psychologist—psychology has always been an interest of mine.
People may be surprised to learn: Some people may be surprised to learn that I came to the US with my family when I was 8 years old and that I am fluent in Russian.
The best thing I did to improve my skill set as an attorney: One experience I found helpful was preparing and presenting a CLE, which was a great way to learn how best to explain and present information to others. I also benefited greatly from being mentored by the senior attorneys at my firm.
One of my guilty pleasures: I am a foodie. I like dining out.
The best hour of my day is: It depends on the day. Since I have a long commute from Connecticut, I find that the morning drive is great for thinking about all the things that I need to get done that day.
Favorite movies: When Harry Met Sally and Finding Nemo.
Favorite television shows: How I Met Your Mother, The Voice and The Big Bang Theory.
Favorite songs: It is difficult to name a favorite song since I enjoy many genres of music, so I will say that one of my favorite songs is “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson since it was the first dance for my husband and me at our wedding.
Favorite meal: I really enjoy sushi rolls at Sushi Palace in Connecticut, but my Mother’s borscht is a close second. I have an eclectic palate.
My favorite vacation spot: I would say that I really enjoy Florida’s West Coast – I enjoy the laid back atmosphere and the beaches are beautiful. We always have a great time at Sanibel Island.
Three things I can’t live without: Well besides air, water, and food, the three things I need in my life are my family, good friends and my smart phone!
One of my favorite things to do in Westchester: I really enjoy dining out in Westchester since this area has such a great variety of delicious food and restaurants. Since I am usually in Mt. Kisco, I enjoy having lunch at Village Social Kitchen & Bar, Neo World Bistro & Sushi Bar, and the newly remodeled Mount Kisco Coach Diner.
My advice to new lawyers: One of the most important skills to hone as an attorney is effective and efficient communication—both in written and verbal form.
Last time I was out of my comfort zone: I suppose it was when my daughter asked me where babies come from!
One of my future ambitions is to: I am always trying to find the time to improve my tennis game.
My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA: Meeting new people and catching up with old friends. I enjoy being part of a diverse group that provides opportunities to lawyers and the community.