Number of years as member of WCBA:
10 years and current co-chair of the Diversity Committee.
My current job:
Associate, Law Office of David S. Klausner PLLC. My practice is primarily commercial litigation, personal injury defense with some plaintiff’s work, and employment law.
I was inspired to become a lawyer because:
I greatly admired some of the local attorneys in my hometown in Maine, including a wonderful attorney, Louis Scolnik, who founded the ACLU in Maine, and ultimately became a judge in the highest Maine court, the Supreme Court. Also, I really enjoy writing and I was a very active high school debater. In other words, I knew I liked argument.
A turning point in my legal career was:
Returning to work as a full-time attorney after a long leave to raise my three sons, and re-entering as a litigator when I had previously practiced corporate and banking law in New York City. I had always preferred litigation, but my jobs in the first half of my career took me in another direction. It was a joy to be able to re-enter the work force as a litigator, my original plan.
A source of professional pride is:
A winning brief in the Second Circuit on sovereign immunity law that was reported as a Decision of the Day in the New York Law Journal.
If I were not practicing law, I would be: A chef, sommelier or fashion editor.
People may be surprised to learn:
That I lived abroad as an expatriate spouse for four years in Spain, Singapore, and Melbourne, Australia. I was very fortunate to have this experience while my children were very small. Coping with all of the moving and adjustment issues made me very good at planning, scheduling, and deadlines.
What I splurge on:
Foreign travel to visit friends, especially my NYU Law classmates in Geneva. I have been to many countries including Cuba (on a New York State Bar Association trip in 2006), Finland (where my son, Sam, got married), Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, France and Italy.
The best hour of my day is:
From 6 pm to 7 pm when the phones are quiet, and I can work on a special project.
Favorite movie: A Room with a View (Merchant/Ivory of course).
What’s on my playlist:
Bossa Nova and Brazilian jazz.
My favorite vacation spot:
San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan is special to me both because I had a close family member living there at one time, and also because it is a wonderful combination of urban, beach, countryside, with great natural scenery. I have always felt at home there.
Three things I can’t live without:
Aside from my glasses (can’t see without them), my three grown sons, David, Samuel, and Adam and my two grandchildren Max and Bridget.
My three favorite things to do in Westchester:
Visiting Sunset Cove, the outdoor restaurant in Tarrytown next to the Tappan Zee Bridge, in the summer at sunset; enjoying brunch at Birdsall House in Peekskill, a craft beer gastropub that still has its original 1920’s style décor; and watching movies at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.
Best advice I ever got:
Before taking action, first ask “what have I got to lose.” You’d be surprised how many times, the answer is “very little,” and it is worth taking the risk of a change.
My advice to new lawyers:
Try to work for a quality attorney for your first or second job, and change jobs if you aren’t learning anything. Don’t be afraid to seek out a mentor for support and advice. Join a bar association and become active to meet experienced attorneys who can point you in the right direction.
One of my future ambitions is to:
Visit Brazil and New Orleans—for the music.
Last thing I did to improve my skill set:
I attended all of the Anatomy of a Trial CLEs hosted by the WCBA — highly recommended.
My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA:
Meeting wonderful people and learning about areas of law outside of my area of practice. My favorite event is the Annual Cajun Barbeque & Blues in June hosted by the WCBA and other specialty bar partners.