Jeffrey G. Marsocci (B.B.A. '92, J.D. '94)
Jeffrey Marsocci Q & A:
What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
Probably one of my favorite memories was starting an independent newspaper called The Transcript with a team of fellow students during my senior year. We turned a profit from the first issue on, covered topics other campus publications weren’t, and had a great time. During my final semester, one of my professors brought a stack of the newspapers to class and handed them out as an example of how she wanted our writing to be, all the while not connecting that I was editor-in-chief.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
After graduating from Hofstra, I went straight to Hofstra Law School. After graduating from Hofstra Law School, but before taking the bar exam, I worked for a medical imaging publishing company primarily reviewing and writing about legislation, court cases and regulations related to the X-ray, MRI and CT equipment industry. Probably the most valuable thing I learned there, that helped me in my legal career, was to write and speak for a non-legal audience. I’ve been told by my clients that one of my greatest strengths is being able to communicate complex legal issues simply and directly in plain English. The second thing is there are many, many concentrated and valuable niche markets that can be served with good products and services.
What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
My main field of expertise is elder law, including estate planning and Medicaid planning, but with a high concentration in helping domestic partners and LGBT individuals create many of the same rights married couples automatically get with a marriage license, but doing so through legal documents in a state that does not allow same-sex marriage. I actually “fell” into this field through beneficial ignorance. When I moved to North Carolina after passing the bar exam, I started my own law firm. In those days, if someone asked me for help with a matter, I’d spend hours in a law library researching the best way to help them accomplish their goals. This is exactly what I did when two male partners asked me to help put together a joint plan for them. It wasn’t until years later when I was teaching a class in “Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families” that I realized just how unique my approach was and how other attorneys had never thought my approach was possible. I later wrote and published a few books on domestic partner estate planning and, from time to time, I teach attorneys, accountants and other professionals about these planning techniques.
What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
While course facts, figures and information may be important to graduating, and possibly beyond if it is in your eventual career field, developing writing and speech presentation skills are going to be invaluable to getting ahead in whatever field you choose. Do whatever you can to develop those skills. They served me very well in law school, my law practice, and in publishing several books on elder law and estate planning on Amazon.com.
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
“Success,” as in the old Hofstra slogan, “We Teach Success.” I had a lot of difficulty coming up with only one word to describe Hofstra, so I asked for some Facebook help. “Tulips” was the funny, majority opinion, but I went with the more serious second-place choice of “success.”
How has your degree helped you?
While my law degree is indispensable in my profession as an attorney, understanding marketing and business administration has been invaluable in running a profitable law firm and my other related businesses.
What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
While being able to help my clients is always rewarding, I’d have to say being honored by the City of Raleigh in 2011 for my office’s work helping members of the LGBT community when many other attorneys in the area weren’t able or willing to help.
What was a major obstacle you were able to overcome to perform your job?
Not knowing anyone in North Carolina and not having any connections to law firms in the area prior to moving made getting started very difficult. However, a lot of hard work and meeting with a fellow Hofstra Law alum and attorney helped get me going in the right direction.