August 2015 Alumni Highlight

Steven J. Schwartzapfel ’80Steven J. Schwartzapfel (’80) recently established the Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. Scholarship Fund at Pace Law School.  A proud Pace Law alumnus from the second graduating class of the Law School, Steven is thrilled to be able to give back to the Law School that taught him how to be a lawyer.

With this Scholarship, Steven hopes to support law students and ease some of the financial obligations that law school can entail.  Specifically, Steven seeks to assist those law students who are union members in good standing or have a parent who is a union member in good standing.  He wants to ensure that future attorneys are given the opportunity to receive the same excellent education that he did at Pace. “I highly value the legal education that I received from Pace.  Pace set the stage for me to become an attorney. Pace Law School provided the foundation for me to become an attorney and to help people who cannot help themselves. It is with gratitude and appreciation that I support Pace Law School.  I cannot stress enough the importance of giving back to the institution that gave so much to me.  It is why I continue to support my alma mater, Pace Law School.  It is up to us as alumni to continue the culture of giving back, allowing current and future students to receive and benefit from the unique education and experience that Pace Law provides.”

After graduating from Pace, Steven founded his firm, Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. in 1983.  Steven built his firm from the ground up and is an ideal example of hard work driving success.  Schwartzapfel Partners is a prominent plaintiff’s personal injury law firm.  As the founding partner, Steven is consistently recognized as the best of the best in his area of practice and as a top New York attorney.  Notably, he has been a New York Times’ Super Lawyer for 7 consecutive years. 

Not one to stay still, Steven has been a member, director, and officer and Past President-elect of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and currently serves as a Director Emeritus.  He served as the first President of the Alliance for Consumer Rights and is also a founding member, Director and First Vice-President Officer of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.  If that isn’t enough, he has also served on the Judicial Screening Committees for the Supreme Court, Appellate Division and New York Court of Appeals, in addition to serving on the Committee on Professional Discipline.

In the years since graduating, Steven’s involvement with Pace Law has been steadfast and in a variety of significant ways.  Years ago, Steven lead an effort (along with Pace Law alumni and former law partner of Steven’s, Robert Marcus (’79)) to send all Law School alumni a dollar as part of a special effort to encourage giving back to the Law School’s Annual Fund.  This effort resulted in a significant increase in the number of graduates who contributed during the year.  In 2008, he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award at Pace Law School’s Annual Leadership Awards Dinner for his contributions.  In 2012, his firm hosted an alumni gathering for alumni living and/or working in Long Island.  Steven attributes much of his desire to give back and much of his success from the immensely positive experience he had at Pace Law School.

Steven is a life-long advocate of helping others and giving back.  He carries this belief with him into all aspects of his life, personally and professionally, and of course, in giving back to his alma mater, Pace Law School.  Not only does he support Pace, but he and his firm supports the charitable organizations giving time and money including Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Breast Cancer Research Foundation, American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude, American Heart Association, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island, Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Down Syndrome Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, Island Harvest, The American Parkinson Disease Association, Ascent School  for Autism, Boys Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, March of Dimes and many others.