As you take a look at this issue’s Faculty Profile, please join us in congratulating one of our part-time faculty, Marco Cercone, for being named to the WNY Legal Elite 2020 by Business First.
Marco is a partner at the well-respected RuppBaase, and has been a stalwart member of our faculty since 2012, teaching Litigation, Contracts, Adv. Litigation, and Intro to Legal Skills. He has generously donated his time, energy, and attention to our students by taking them on field trips to the courts and writing countless letters of recommendation.
Marco Cercone, Esq.
Department: Paralegal Studies
What inspired you to pursue your career? “Since I was a little boy, I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. My pediatrician was actually the first person to tell me that I’d make a good lawyer because I articulated myself well! Helping clients solve their problems and counseling them on how to do things better to avoid potential problems is what drives me. There also is no greater feeling, other than the birth of my children, than getting a jury verdict in your favor after a hard-fought trial.”
What two things might people NOT know about your industry or profession? “The practice of law has changed a lot over the years with technology advancement and protocols in place due to COVID. But I think the biggest thing is this profession really is a 24-7 year-round job. Clients want you available when they are available, and if you don’t provide your clients with good service, you run the risk of losing them, even if you get them good results. The legal profession is about people, relationships, AND hard work.”
In what ways have your students inspired you over the years? “Over the last 8 years at Daemen, the thing that impresses me most about the students I have taught is their interest in the legal field and their work ethic. The students in my classes have worked hard, and I think that’s a testament to their desire to do well and their interest in the subjects I teach. An informed citizenry is a powerful one, and I think the zeal that the students have bodes well for our country’s future.”
What is something you’d like the college community to know about you personally or professionally? “Professionally, I’m more than just a trial lawyer. I’m also a business owner, leader, strategic planner, and voice for our law firm and the 100 employees who made my law firm the great place that it is. Personally, I’m a first-generation American (my parents were immigrants from Italy), and as they taught me at a young age, there is absolutely no substitute for hard work and dedication to what you do. If you work hard and stay focused, anything is possible, and I’ve witnessed that first-hand with my parents’ experience and my own life to date.”
What is your greatest accomplishment this year and what do you hope to achieve in 2021? “Far and away, my biggest accomplishment was helping to guide our law firm through the COVID pandemic. It was of utmost importance to me and to my partners that we not lay off a single employee during the pandemic, and I’m happy to say we succeeded in that regard. We worked hard as a partnership to change the way we operated, and we focused on taking care of our employees because we all recognize that the success of our law firm starts and ends with the team we’ve assembled.
Taking care of all of our employees during these difficult times is by far this year’s greatest accomplishment for me.
For 2021, I’m hoping that we continue to grow the Paralegal Studies program here at Daemen and that our law firm continues to grow despite these challenging times. Fortunately for us, we’ve had great success over the last several years bringing Daemen graduates into our firm, so the more the merrier!”