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Philip Burke

burke-philPhilip Burke

Attorney, Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP

Years in current role: 40

What do you enjoy most about practicing trusts and estates law?

The broad range of practice and client needs in the T&E field, from basic planning for new families to sophisticated estate and gift tax needs for more established client.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

As Department Chair for the last two years it goes without saying that the needs of our attorneys and staff during the pandemic have been a significant challenge, from working remotely, virtual client meetings and court appearances to slowly re-opening the department to make sure that everyone is safe and comfortable with returning to work.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?

Without a doubt: technology. The rapid change in technological innovations will challenge all of us. We have already seen this, to some extent, during the pandemic with remote working, video conferences and execution of planning documents (as authorized by the governor pursuant to his Executive Orders, etc.).

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

The Rochester Area Community Foundation (for their broad philanthropic reach throughout the region), Geva Theatre (for their presentations of highly professional theater offerings as well as their community education and outreach), Family Promise of Rochester (formerly the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network, for their assistance in finding housing for families with children who are temporarily homeless and working with the families to find sustainable long term housing), the RPO for their world class music offerings and last but not least, Foodlink (for their amazing services in providing needed food and support esp. during the pandemic).

What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?

Travel and return to some of the music, theater and entertainment that Rochester (and the greater Rochester area) has to offer.