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Leah T. Cintineo

Partner, Underberg & Kessler LLP

Years in current role: 5 (10 years at the firm)

What has been your biggest success over the past year?

I had my third child in 2022, and she is an amazing addition to our family. Balancing my busy law practice, my leadership role in our firm, and my community activities along with pregnancy, maternity leave, and caring for young children was my biggest success in 2022 and a rewarding challenge.

What are your expectations for the next 6-12 months?

I plan to continue to grow my divorce practice and to continue to zealously represent my clients during very stressful times in their lives. I will continue to grow my leadership role at our firm.

What advice would you give someone starting out in family law right now?

You have to have a good mix of empathy and people skills along with strong knowledge of the law and trial advocacy skills. So much of matrimonial and family law practice is assisting emotional clients to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, rather than just preparing and filing pleadings, arguing motions, etc. You have to learn the skill of setting personal boundaries and not letting the emotional cases that we deal with day in and day out negatively affect you. It takes a lot of practice and a conscious effort. Customer service to clients has to remain a focus too.

If you could practice one area of law that you haven’t practiced in your career, what would it be and why?

I think it would be very interesting to work in sports and entertainment law representing professional athletes or artists in contract negotiations.

What do you enjoy most about the Rochester legal community?

The legal community here is generally collegial and welcoming. Many attorneys here are actively involved in the local bar associations. Older attorneys mentor younger attorneys, and I have always felt that I had a number of colleagues I could turn to for questions and advice.