‘Top Rated Lawyer’ Credits Influence of Oswego Professors

From first grade through law school, Lois Carter Schlissel ’72 is a product of public education, including SUNY Oswego, where she earned a degree in English and Secondary Education before going on to law school at University of Buffalo.

Lois Schlissel Recognized by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbel as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in labor and employment law, Schlissel serves as managing attorney of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, headquartered in Garden City. She heads the firm’s employment law practice and is a member of the commercial litigation and dispute resolution department. She serves on U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s judicial screening committee and the board of directors of several charitable and professional organizations.

At Oswego, Schlissel says, she “was privileged” to participate in the English Honors program, where she wrote her thesis on “The Narrative Voice of Jonathan Swift.” She recalls the “extraordinary” teaching and mentoring she and her classmates received from English faculty members; she also values the contributions of the late Kathleen Pendergast, theatre professor, who taught her to speak with confidence.

Schlissel’s appreciation extends beyond her favorite humanities subjects. “I’m not a science person,” she says, “but Dr. Edward Fisher made physics interesting even to me.”

A member of debate team, which won top state ranking during her junior year, Schlissel not only gained motivation for classical argumentation and strengthened her oratorical skills there, she also met her future husband, Elliot S. Schlissel ’72.

After law school, Lois accepted a position in the State Court of Appeals, Albany, and Elliot, who had a year at Hofstra before completing his jurisprudence degree at U.B., began to practice law on Long Island.

“I was the first lawyer in my family, but now there are seven, including one of our two daughters and a son-in-law,” Schlissel says. She pauses, then jokes: “Holiday conversations around the dinner table can get kind of boring.”

—Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97

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