Jeffrey Schulman ’00, a Partner at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, was selected by the New York Law Journal (“NYLJ”) as one of its 44 Rising Stars for 2013. The NYLJ panel reviewed nominations of accomplished attorneys age 40 and under who have “demonstrated that they are top contributors to the practice of law and their communities,” according to NYLJ literature. Schulman will be honored at a reception next Tuesday, June 11, at the Kimberly Hotel. This week he was also recognized by The Legal 500, the largest legal referral website, as a “humane and brilliant” standout at Dickstein Shapiro.
Schulman, a New York-based partner in the Insurance Coverage Group, is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee and is the Hiring Partner for the New York office. He also leads the group’s General Liability Practice. His practice focuses on representing corporate and commercial policyholders in a variety of significant and complex coverage disputes, including construction defect, product liability, director and officer, multimedia, asbestos, and first-party claims. Schulman has successfully tried numerous jury and non-jury trials and has also secured millions of dollars in insurance recoveries for his clients by way of arbitration and mediation.
Since joining Dickstein Shapiro in 2008, Schulman has successfully handled a wide variety of insurance and commercial disputes, including serving as litigation and coverage counsel for one of the world’s largest motion picture and television production companies; for a union representing tens of thousands of workers in the United States and Canada; and for a Fortune 500 company with asbestos liabilities. He has also served as trial counsel for North America’s largest residential and commercial roofing manufacturer seeking coverage for construction defect claims.
Schulman, who graduated from New York University in 1997 with a degree in political science, explained that he always wanted to be trial lawyer. “I was never interested in acting, but always saw the courtroom as a stage on which I could perform.” At the Law School, Schulman was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, where he served as the Trial Division Coordinator on the Moot Court Executive Board. After graduating, he stayed active with Moot Court for years, returning to coach various Trial Division teams. Schulman continues to return yearly to judge the Prince Competition.
At his law school graduation, he was presented with a membership to the Order of the Barristers and the Judge Doris A. Thompson and Judge Edward Thompson Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.
After graduating from the Law School in 2000, he joined a plaintiff’s personal injury firm, gaining valuable courtroom experience. He then moved on to a boutique firm representing policyholders in coverage disputes. He never looked back, later joining the coverage group at the New Jersey-based firm of Lowenstein Sandler. In 2008, he joined Dickstein and was elected to the partnership on January 1, 2012. “Dickstein has the country’s preeminent coverage practice. For a policyholder side coverage lawyer, it’s like signing with the Yankees. And in terms of what we do, we know that we are on the side of right and justice.”
Doing the “right thing” has long been a priority of Schulman’s, who is an Alumni Mentor at the Law School and who has an impressive pro bono practice. Early in his career, Schulman served as a volunteer lawyer for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, representing four families before the Special Master, and ultimately securing gross awards of approximately $10 million. More recently, he has spearheaded Dickstein’s Superstorm Sandy pro bono efforts. “This was a natural fit for us,” explained Schulman. “We are currently on the ground representing individuals on a pro bono basis across the boroughs. All of our offices nationwide have joined the effort, whether it be in our drafting and circulation of substantive guides directed to individuals and small businesses, or fielding calls and providing information to people with coverage questions. We set up a hotline open to the public and encouraged local bar associations, and civic and nonprofit groups to pass it along. The idea was to provide those impacted by the storm with direct access to a coverage lawyer who could answer questions or provide information – sometimes something as basic as the telephone number for a particular insurance company.”
Schulman traces much of his professional success to his time at the Law School. “BLS was integral in my preparation for the practice of law and I have nothing but fond memories of my three years there. I am very proud to be an alum.”