New York native A.J. Temsamani is emerging as one of Long Island's leading young matrimonial lawyers, widely known, well liked and respected by peers in the Nassau County divorce-law community. Now in his mid 40s, Temsamani in many respects has one of the strongest backgrounds of any divorce lawyer his age: He has practiced his entire career with leading matrimonial lawyers, nearly all a generation his senior; he was until recently a partner at one of the region's top firms. Earlier this year he launched his own practice, a bold move in his intensely competitive specialty, but one he felt was inevitable and necessary. "You reach a point where you know it's just time to do it," he says. Clients will be struck by Temsamani's attentiveness and affable nature, as well as a calm equanimity, all great assets for a divorce lawyer. Further, Temsamani, whose father is from Morocco and mother from Puerto Rico, is every bit the proud product of multicultural Astoria, Queens; handed no special connections or privileges, Temsamani earned his place in the profession. Attending William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City, Temsamani was actively involved in student government. Later, at Queens College, he bridged the diverse, 60-language student body and assumed every title in student government, including being elected president of the school's Student Government Association.
As an undergrad, he contemplated law school as a way to enter politics; peers saw him as a natural leader. He eventually became disenchanted with the idea of having a career in politics and decided his leadership skills would be better suited to legal advocacy. At Hofstra Law he took a family law course taught by Stephen Schlissel, a renowned matrimonial lawyer - and future colleague and mentor of Temsamani. Having majored in psychology, Temsamani decided that his undergraduate training had primed him to help people going through dramatic family changes. Family law "was the one area of the law I saw all my skills coming together." Among those skills: Temsamani through his youth developed great proficiency in Taekwondo, which he practiced for 25 years (achieving the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt), creating a focus and mental discipline for which the martial arts are renowned. After law school Temsamani joined a small Mineola practice of a former prosecutor, and gained valuable courtroom experience. Two years later he was handling matrimonial cases for a Manhattan firm; in 1996 Michael Ostrow, also a highly respected matrimonial attorney and future mentor of Temsamani, offered him an associate's position; they worked together for 14 years. When Ostrow and Schlissel joined forces in 2000, Temsamani joined them as well, and was named a partner in the firm in 2004. Peers say Temsamani is a grounded, organized and positive influence in the cases he handles, and as his career progresses he has handled more complex, higher stakes cases.
When he launched his own practice in 2010, Temsamani said such cases are now the backbone of his practice. Away from the office he enjoys travel and landscape design. He lives in Queens County.