Well known nationally and a shrewd handler of complex cases, Ed Snyder has been a leading matrimonial attorney in New Jersey for more than four decades. Fairly easy-going for a successful lawyer ("Your record speaks for you, and that's it"), Snyder built his career and reputation largely as an independent practitioner; today, Snyder and partner Angelo Sarno have teamed up to create one of the state's leading divorce-law boutiques. What's more, Snyder has always maintained a leadership profile at the national level of the divorce bar, having lectured widely over many years.
Growing up in Brockton, Mass., the son of a podiatrist, Snyder says his father urged him to "be my own boss - and I listened to him." He graduated from Drake University in Iowa, and returned to Boston for law school. Looking for a change in scenery, he moved to Essex County, New Jersey. He clerked with a matrimonial judge in Passaic County, his first intensive exposure to divorce law, and then worked for two prominent divorce attorneys. By the time he was 30 he had launched his own practice, based in Union. Remarkably, it was part-time work as a public defender that forged the young Snyder into a confident courtroom attorney - "I was doing it to make ends meet, and it turned out to be a very valuable experience." He practiced with a large firm for several years, its only divorce attorney, but even then, he says, he felt like a sole practitioner.
Over the years Snyder's career evolved with the fast-changing landscape of divorce law. New Jersey was in many respects a pace-setter in key legal decisions in the field, thrusting Snyder into the role of both a national spokesman and advocate for his fellow divorce lawyers. "I've always liked and respected the people I work with - and against. It's certainly made me a more effective advocate for my clients." Snyder and Sarno are known for taking on some of the most challenging cases in the region. At his previous firm Snyder worked on the ground-breaking Konzelman case, in which the Supreme Court of New Jersey established co-habitation as grounds for termination of alimony.
Today, Snyder and his wife, Gail Margolis, live in Millburn, N.J. They are inveterate outdoor travelers; recently they hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back. He's also an enthusiastic oenophile. Snyder has no plans of slowing down: "I love what I do, so why stop? I feel like I'm just hitting my stride."