It is with great pleasure that Nassau Suffolk Law Services’ Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) and the Nassau County Bar Association recognize Scott R. Schneider as our most recent Pro Bono Attorney of the Month. This month’s award honors an attorney who has an incredible passion and dedication to help his community in any way possible. Since 1994, Mr. Schneider has provided pro bono legal services for clients in bankruptcy matters at Nassau Suffolk Law Service’s VLP, and has logged more than 75 hours this year in completed matters. Mr. Schneider has spent countless nights working late to help these clients conquer the intense stress and worries of bankruptcy.
Mr. Schneider graduated magna cum laude from Long Island University-Post (LIU, formerly C.W. Post) earning his bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a minor in Finance and Economics. He then graduated from St. Johns Law School in 1990 and was admitted to practice law in both New York and New Jersey. Right out of law school, Mr. Schneider practiced bankruptcy for ten years before opening up his own firm in January of 2000. His practice focuses primarily on bankruptcy law; helping clients get out from underneath their debts, better manage their finances and save their homes from foreclosure. Mr. Schneider credits his family and support staff for all of their help and patience throughout his career.
One of Mr. Schneider’s most rewarding volunteer experiences at the VLP involved an elderly woman who was overwhelmed with debt. The client, a widow, was constantly bombarded by collection calls. Mr. Schneider agreed to help her alleviate the enormous psychological toll this was taking by filing her petition for bankruptcy. After all the help, the client was overcome with gratitude and thanked Mr. Schneider with a big hug. Mr. Schneider hopes that cases like this will help convince other attorneys to do more pro bono work in the future. He sympathizes with these clients and knows they need assistance. “Shame on the collectors for badgering people. These clients need assistance and they deserve to be helped.”
Mr. Schneider feels strongly that more attorneys should provide professional pro bono advice to clients in need. He believes that lawyers are held to a higher standard than other professionals and should offer their assistance when available. “All attorneys should contribute in some way to their community, whether it is legal service or another way to help. I recommend every attorney take at least one pro bono case and try it out. See how it works out and you will get an appreciation for how badly these clients need you and how rewarding it is to help them.”
Susan Biller, Pro Bono Coordinator of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, is truly grateful for Mr. Schneider’s support. “Attorneys like Scott are the backbone of our Bankruptcy program. For years, we have consistently counted on him to represent our clients in need, and he does so with dignity and respect.”
In addition to providing pro bono legal services, Mr. Schneider is no stranger to volunteering. He coached soccer for 16 seasons, and was an Assistant Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America, and was the Vice President, along with his wife, for the Parents Club at Chaminade High School. He also helps his community by volunteering his time as the treasurer for Hicksville Gregory Museum for the past 10 years and participating in multiple fundraisers including Bike MS, a 30 mile cycling race to help raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis. When he is not volunteering his time for a good cause, he likes to spend time with his wife and three sons, ages 14, 17 and 20, and enjoys skiing.
Mr. Schneider is best known to the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project for his incredible determination and dedication in assisting clients with their bankruptcy cases. His willingness to help others is second to none and we are very proud to honor Mr. Scott R. Schneider as Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.
Michael Poropat, JD
The Volunteer Lawyers Project is a joint effort of Nassau Suffolk Law Services and the Nassau County Bar Association, who, for many years, have joined resources toward the goal of providing free legal assistance to Nassau County residents who are dealing with economic hardship. Nassau Suffolk Law Services is a non profit civil legal services agency, receiving federal, state and local funding to provide free legal assistance to Long Islanders, primarily in the areas of benefits advocacy, homelessness prevention (foreclosure and eviction defense), access to health care, and services to special populations such as domestic violence victims, disabled, and adult home resident. The provision of free services is prioritized based on financial need and funding is often inadequate in these areas. Furthermore, there is no funding for the general provision of matrimonial or bankruptcy representation, therefore the demand for pro bono assistance is the greatest in these areas. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Susan Biller, Esq. 516-292-8100, ext. 232-2400 x 3136.
All of our offices are now open to the public and accepting walk-ins.