Stephen Vlahadamis has long been interested in the law. He watched his older brother succeed as an attorney through the establishment of his own practice, Vlahadamis & Hillen LLP. He also enjoyed several law courses taken during his studies earning his undergraduate degree. And, as easy as the choice was for Stephen to decide to pursue a career in criminal defense law, the decision of which law school to attend was just as easy to make.
Stephen considers himself fortunate to have been surrounded by positive success stories of Touro graduates including close friends and family. He saw a succession of prominent Touro lawyers, practicing criminal defense and real estate, since 2007 and knew he wanted the same for himself. It wasn’t enough, however, to simply hear from a handful of people; Stephen had to explore for himself and find his own understanding of why Touro Law Center would be the best fit. After meeting with Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management George Justice, Stephen was delighted to learn that one of Touro’s strengths was creating a trusting community leading to endless networking opportunities for students. Because of Stephen’s strong belief in creating meaningful relationships with people to open the doors of opportunity in life, Touro seemed to be the right school for him. Additionally, learning of Touro’s access to both the Federal District Court and State Court simply solidified Stephen’s choice to attend Touro Law Center.
And, Stephen knows he made the right choice. Although his mind is set on becoming a criminal defense attorney, Stephen appreciates the various fields of law that faculty and staff make available and attainable to learn both inside and outside the classroom. As a current 2L, Stephen’s favorite experience thus far has been externing with federal judges, including Senior United States District Judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York the Honorable Leonard Wexler where he was able to experience real-life courtroom practice.
Stephen does not disregard the labor-intensive hours of reading, writing, and studying. But, he notes that the passing of these hours is made more tolerable by the faculty’s willingness to tailor their opinions with careful consideration to the individual first. “It’s professors such as Samuel Levine that give great insight on what avenues to take when you need help and I thank Touro for that opportunity and for providing a community that cares about its students,” Stephen states.
Wrapping up his second year at Touro Law, we’ve asked Stephen if he has any advice for both current and prospective students. He states: “If the law interests you, go for it! The opportunities are great and endless. It is challenging, but most rewarding as you progress through law school, succeed, and get closer to your goal.”