Alumni Profile: Curtis DiPasqua '80 Excels in Fast-Paced Restaurant Industry
Curtis DiPasqua, a 1980 graduate of American University Washington College of Law, appreciates the fast-paced nature of his career.
As president of Subway Development Company Of Central Florida, he oversees more than 340 Subway Restaurants in Central Florida and owns 40 in partnership with his brother.
DiPasqua attended law school intending to launch a career in human rights and international law. When it came time to choose between attending AUWCL or another east coast law school, he called each school’s admissions office to ask why he should attend. At AUWCL, he was transferred to Professor Andrew Popper, interim dean at the time.
“He was so enthusiastic about WCL,” recalled DiPasqua of the conversation. “He really sold me on the school.”
DiPasqua finished law school in only two years, doing internships and studying abroad in Russia, Poland, and the U.K. However, after graduation, he was unsure about whether or not he wanted to practice law.
DiPasqua's father, a barber, had used his life savings to buy a Subway store in the 1970s. He invited Di Pasqua to join the family business. Although working in the restaurant business was not his original career choice, DiPasqua decided to give it a try.
“I caught the entrepreneurial fever,” explained DiPasqua. “I loved the pace. I loved the creativity. I loved figuring out how to raise funds and place and design restaurants. I also have fun working with my family.”
As a twenty-something entering the industry, DiPasqua appreciated the culture of Subway. In addition to the excitement of being part of a young, energetic company, DiPasqua liked that Subway let their franchisees lead the way.
“There were no corporate standards—they didn’t tell you how to do your job,” explained DiPasqua. “You had numbers to meet, and you had to find your own ways to do that.”
According to DiPasqua, his law degree has given him the foundation to be successful. Since he oversees several hundred employees, he regularly uses his knowledge of labor law, landlord and tenant law, and more. He said that law school enables him to think analytically, to come to conclusions quickly, and helped him to structure his business to avoid legal problems.
“A law degree might be the most useful and broadly applicable education that you can get,” said DiPasqua. “To think that all you can do with it is be a lawyer! There is so much to be learned in law school, so you come out really well-equipped."