Image CaptionSkippy Weinstein
Skippy Weinstein

Alumnus Skippy Weinstein '65 Discusses His Path to Becoming a Lawyer

Feb. 10, 2020

On January 28, 2020, American University Washington College of Law and the Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program were pleased to welcome AUWCL alumnus Stephen S. "Skippy" Weinstein '65.  Skippy spent the afternoon co-teaching an Advanced Trial Advocacy alongside Associate Director Elizabeth L. Lippy.  Afterward, he addressed a crowd of students, faculty, and alumni discussing his legal career. 

Weinstein has always brought passion and drive to both his work and to his commitment to the AUWCL community. Weinstein became a lawyer to represent people who needed an advocate – someone on their side.

Skippy Weinstein with trial advocacy students.

Weinstein told students of his somewhat unusual path to becoming a successful lawyer. A high school dropout, Weinstein was sentenced to reform school by a juvenile judge until age 17. He loaded trucks and pumped gas while studying for his GED. He went on to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he met his future wife, Nancy. He also met James Roosevelt, U.S. representative and son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who became a speaker at Fairleigh Dickinson. 

Roosevelt helped set up a meeting with AUWCL’s then dean. Weinstein recalled, “I told the dean, ‘Someday I will make this law school proud, because I will be a good lawyer, and I will never stop thanking you.’”

Weinstein, who retired last year, was founder and principal of Stephen S. Weinstein PC, a law firm in Morristown, New Jersey, that focuses on civil and criminal litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability law. He appeared in New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine from 2005 through 2018, named among its Top 100 attorneys and its Top 10 in select years—and at one point was voted the second-best trial lawyer in the state. He has lectured at the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Rutgers Law School, and the Seton Hall University School of Law.

A committed donor to AUWCL, Weinstein has made substantial contributions over the past several years. In 2006, the Trial Advocacy Program was named in Weinstein’s honor. When AUWCL moved to the Tenley Campus, the historical courtroom was also named in his honor -  the Stephen S. Weinstein Mock Trial Courtroom.

In closing, Weinstein left students with this advice: Always be prepared and ready for the “what if” situation.