The Shaw & Shaw Story

The Shaw & Shaw, P.C. story is all about caring. Caring about each other, about what we do, and most importantly, caring about our clients in a way that separates our firm from all the others.

Shaw & Shaw, P.C. was founded in 1976 by brothers James and Joseph as a two-attorney firm with one part- time secretary. The office was originally located on Electric Avenue in Lackawanna, New York. James and Joseph shared office space with State Music Distributors, a vending business which they owned and operated with its founder and their father, the legendary Joseph H. Shaw, Sr.

The Firm started out as a general practice, focusing in the areas of Matrimonial/Family Law, Real Estate, Criminal Defense, Estates, Corporate/Business, Entertainment Law, Sports Agency work and Liquor Law licensing issues.

James Shaw developed the Matrimonial/Family Law and Criminal Defense practice areas, and during his tenure, was known as one of the most respected and knowledgeable attorneys in the area. Among his many accomplishments, James Shaw served as President of the Erie County Bar Association and held numerous other positions within Erie County and the New York State Bar Associations, entrenching Shaw & Shaw, P.C. as one of the premier firms in New York State.

Joseph Shaw was the driving force behind the development of Shaw & Shaw, P.C.’s Real Estate and Business practice areas. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Joseph Shaw gained national notoriety as a Sports and Entertainment attorney representing dozens of sports and entertainment personalities.

In 2014, both James and Joseph decided to transfer their ownership interest in Shaw & Shaw, P.C. and continue to work on a consulting basis, as well as act as mentors to assist the firm with the transition. Their efforts to date have insured the continuation of Shaw & Shaw, P.C. as one of the premier law firms in New York State. They handed the torch to attorneys Leonard D. Zaccagnino and Jennifer L. Burke.

Leonard D. Zaccagnino joined the firm as an Associate in 1986. With the support of James and Joseph, Leonard was the driving force in the development of Shaw & Shaw, P.C. Personal Injury practice. Today, Shaw & Shaw, P.C. is recognized as one of the elite firms in the Personal Injury area. Among other things, Leonard is a frequent lecturer and writer, focusing in the area of Trial Practice. He is also affiliated with the University of Buffalo Law School working with law students as a teacher and Trial Team Coach. Leonard is presently the Senior Equity Partner and majority owner of Shaw & Shaw, P.C., taking on a leadership role and focusing in the areas of the firm’s Business Development and Practices, primarily in the areas of Personal Injury and Criminal Defense.

Jennifer L. Burke joined the firm as an Associate in early 2007. She received her undergraduate degree from Fairfield University in 1995 and has focused her practice on real estate law since graduating from the University of Buffalo, Law School in 1998. Jennifer is presently the head of Shaw & Shaw, P.C.’s Real Estate department. Since taking the lead, she and her staff have widely expanded the firm’s real estate practice. Her dedication, intense work ethic and personality continue to attract clients and key employees. In 2014, Jennifer also took on the role of Managing Partner, overseeing the day-to-day management and operation of the firm.

The Shaw & Shaw, P.C. family has expanded over the course of the decade. We’ve welcomed attorneys Samantha Schultz (Estates, Trusts, Wills, Matrimonial and Family Law matters); Blake Zaccagnino (Personal Injury and Criminal matters), Reid Zaccagnino (Commercial Real Estate, Small Business Formation and Transfers matters) and Caitlyn Jacob (Residential Real Estate matters), all of whom have proven to be talented attorneys and valuable additions to our legal team.

At the heart and soul of Shaw & Shaw, P.C. is our incredible support staff including:

MaryAnn Dunne, Financial Accounts Manager / Personnel Manager
Gail Galfo, Senior Paralegal / Technology Manager
Laura Cye, Managing Paralegal, Real Estate
Karen Colvin, Paralegal / Front Office Manager
Mary Starr, Lead Closer, Real Estate
Kathy VanNote, Paralegal Matrimonial / Wills & Estates
Katrina Schmitt-Ruof, Paralegal, Personal Injury / Criminal
Victoria Lorenzo, Paralegal, Personal Injury / Corporate
Emily Hofner, Paralegal, Real Estate
Diane Heintz, Paralegal, Real Estate

Shaw & Shaw, P.C. prides itself on a family atmosphere. Every attorney and staff member is integral to the continued development and expansion of our firm. Shaw & Shaw, P.C. exists to serve clients with compassion, respect and excellence in all areas and is committed to not only meet, but to exceed all client expectations.