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Cassandra C. Rich

Special Counsel, Barclay Damon LLP

Years in current role: 3

What has been your biggest success over the past year?

I count every closing as a success, but on a personal level, the biggest success of this past year was being named president-elect of the Monroe County Bar Association. It is a role I am honored to fill for an organization that does so much for local attorneys.

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

For the next 6-12 months, I expect the housing and commercial real estate markets to cool down as interest rates rise. At the same time, I expect affordable housing to heat up as New York State continues to prioritize affordable housing development within the state budget. New York’s strategy calls for 800,000 new affordable housing units over the next decade.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in real estate law?

For any young real estate attorneys, I would advise them to pay attention to the details, get (and stay) organized, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of a more experienced mentor. Always treat staff well. Firstly, because everyone deserves to be treated well, and secondly, when you first start out, the staff knows more than you and can save you from making mistakes and help you learn all of the local quirks.

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

I have never really been tempted to practice another area of law, but if I had to choose, it would be either patent law to put my chemistry degree to use or adoption law, as I have heard it is such a joyful field.

What do you enjoy most about practicing law in the Rochester area?

To me, the best part about practicing law in the Rochester area is the collegiality. It is a “small” legal community and practitioners tend to be collaborative rather than combative, working together to solve any issues and get deals closed.

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