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Derrick Spatorico

Derrick Spatorico

Managing Partner, Pheterson Spatorico, LLP

Years in current role: 22

What do you enjoy most about practicing real estate law?

Practicing real estate law is a tremendous experience. We have the privilege of assisting people making the largest investment of their lives. Clients rely on us to help them journey from contact to closing. It’s a true privilege. Unlike litigation or family law where clients are stressed and often unhappy, real estate law provides us a tremendous opportunity to interact with individuals and families in a time when they are experiencing one of the most euphoric chapters of their lives. I can honestly say that while I don’t enjoy every minute of trial practice, I absolutely enjoy every minute of a real estate closing. It’s a lot of fun. I credit my paralegal and administrative staff for creating such a wonderful client experience and propelling our firm to the very top of the industry.

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

The biggest challenge we faced in the last year is certainly staffing. I have the best staff around and we have a lot of fun, but every attorney I speak with confirms that there are fewer paralegals getting into the business. Being a paralegal is actually a great job that more young people might consider. You get on-the-job training, extremely competitive compensation, benefits and a wonderful work environment.

What do you see as the biggest changes in real estate law in the next 3-5 years?

I see a transformation of the process occurring every day. More firms in the industry from realtors to mortgage companies to title companies and attorneys are deploying more and more technology to make the process better for the consumer. We’ve always been at the forefront of technology in the legal practice, but it is a full-time commitment to keep up with the progress the realtors and mortgage lenders make on a yearly basis. Luckily, we keep in mind that this is all about creating the best experience for the client so it’s worth all of the extra effort.

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

My big commitment is to the National Center for Missing and Exploded Children — NCMEC. Why? Go there. It’s right on Lake Avenue. Read the testimonials from the children who have been saved from child traffickers, abusers, kidnappers and the sex trade. It only takes one visit to their headquarters to see all of the good they do. It warms the soul.

What is one personal goal you have for the next year?

Lose 20 pounds and win the Rochester District Golf Association District Championship. Okay, that’s two. Sue me.