WCBA member for seven years (since 2009).
Awards and Honors Received:
Westchester County Bar Association’s New Lawyers Leadership Award, 2013
Westchester County Recognition Proclamation, 2014
My current job and prior experience: Late last year, I began my own practice, Levin Law, P.C., focusing on Special Education Law and Civil Rights. Prior to that, I spent seven years at the Westchester County Human Rights Commission, where, among other things, I was the Director of Fair Housing and I co-authored the county’s fair housing law.
One of my favorite legal success stories: A client came complaining that she needed an emotional support animal (a service dog) as she had a number of disabilities, including terminal cancer. Unfortunately, her cooperative board was refusing to provide her with the accommodation. After sitting down and negotiating with the board, they saw the light and let her bring the dog home. Her last month of life was made easier as she had Martha (she named her dog after her grandmother.)
If I were not practicing law I would be: A professional mediator. In fact, I’m a certified mediator for the Westchester & Rockland Mediation Centers of CLUSTER (a fantastic organization with a great team of people). It provides me with no small amount of personal satisfaction when I’m able to help people get out of their own way and discover a resolution to a problem that they thought was insurmountable.
People may be surprised to learn: I’ve been skydiving four times. It’s an almost indescribable feeling. Once you jump out of that door, you’re completely out of your head (an experience that I recommend for every attorney.) My older brother took me for my first jump. I took my mother for my second (the woman is pure courage!) I took my then-girlfriend (now wife) for my third.
My older brother, my wife and I took my younger brother for my last jump. Still one of my favorite memories.
The best thing I did to improve my skill set as an attorney: I’ve picked my mentors very carefully. My first and favorite mentor was my first supervisor at the Human Rights Commission - Delores Scott Brathwaite (now the Hon. Delores Scott Brathwaite, Town Justice for the Town of Greenburgh). She always had (and still has) sage advice, insightful critique, and a friendly ear to offer. All indispensible resources for an attorney.
What I splurge on: Good shoes. For those days that I’ll be standing all day long, it’s essential that I have comfortable shoes.
The best hour of my day is: The 45 minutes of getting my two year old daughter, Samantha, ready for bed, and the next 15 minutes following.
Favorite movies: Rocky, Coming to America, The Big Lebowski, and The Princess Bride. (Don’t judge me.)
Favorite television shows: Breaking Bad, Northern Exposure, and Manimal. (Seriously-don’t judge.)
Favorite songs: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (as covered by Donny Hathaway), I Can See Clearly Now (Jimmy Cliff) and Three Little Birds (Bob Marley)
Favorite meal: Pizza! Isn’t it everyone’s?
Favorite websites or blogs I read: Reddit—it’s the front page of the internet.
My favorite vacation spots: Costa Rica is an amazing place—beautiful, lush, and the people are fantastically welcoming.
Three things I can’t live without: My family, my smartphone (I don’t know how I lived before it) and my satellite radio.
One of my favorite things to do in Westchester: My wife and I recently discovered the Greenburgh Nature Center. It’s right off Central Avenue, behind commercial property. You’d never know it, but there’s this incredible park that has bald eagles, snakes, turtles, hedgehogs, etc. It’s beautiful.
Best advice I ever got: Don’t be afraid to fail. No one has succeeded without failing multiple times.
My advice to new lawyers: Complacency is a killer. Always be careful. Even when you’ve been doing something for years, take nothing for granted.
Last time I was out of my comfort zone: Starting my own law practice. They don’t teach the business of law in law school. I’ve learned an incredible amount about law, business, and myself these past months.
One of my future ambitions is to: Become an administrative law judge, hearing officer, or a member of the judiciary.
My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA: Meeting other attorneys. There’s always someone new to meet.