Attorney Edgar Snyder Honored for 50 Years in Legal Field
Attorney Edgar Snyder was one of several lawyers honored by the Allegheny County Bar Association recently for a career milestone: 50 years in the legal profession.
Attorney Snyder, founder of Edgar Snyder & Associates, delivered the keynote address, sharing with fellow honorees his observations about how the legal profession has changed during his five decades practicing law.
During his tenure as a personal injury attorney, he said everything from technology to job titles in the legal world have "completely changed."
"When we needed a copy of a document 50 years ago, we had to use triplicate carbon paper, and if you made a mistake you had to start all over," he said with a laugh. "This was even before word processing."
Back then, he noted, lawyers had secretaries. "Now we have paralegals and legal assistants," Attorney Snyder noted.
There is also a vast difference between then and now in the number of attorneys practicing law locally and nationally.
"Back then, there were 350,000 lawyers in the United States. Today there are about 1.3 million," he said. "When I started out, there were about 1,500 lawyers working in Allegheny County. Now there are more than 5,000 members of the Allegheny County Bar Association."
The biggest difference—and most significant game-changer in his career—came in 1979 in the form of a Supreme Court decision known as Bates v. Arizona, one that gave lawyers the right to advertise.
"The rest is history," said Snyder, whose signature catchphrase, "There's never a fee unless we get money for you!" and point have for decades been integral to the firm's print, radio and television ads.
His biggest accomplishment?
"The thrill of building a law firm is seeing the growth of young attorneys that came to work for me and who are not only now leading the law firm—but who are also the leading lawyers in western Pennsylvania," Attorney Snyder said.
"I have never had a boring day, although I have had many days that I would like to forget. Being a lawyer over the last 50 years has been the most amazing career choice."