Just in his mid 30s, Robert Lewis of Davidoff, Malito & Hutcher is emerging as one of New York City's young divorce lawyers most likely to lead the profession in the years ahead. A classic high-energy case-getter with a genuine interest in his clients' well being, Lewis is well suited to divorce law - he's outgoing, fast thinking, and in the eyes of some peers already something of a Barnum-esque impresario in creating a client following. Further, Lewis has worked for the last decade with the well known and respected Manhattan attorney Malcolm Taub, a successful team likely to long endure. A full generation younger than his mentor, Lewis possesses some of the advantages of youth: For one thing, he's wired to his work via cellphone and Blackberry, an arrangement many older lawyers still don't or can't seem to embrace. More important, Lewis has an excellent grasp of the changing social landscape reshaping his profession - not simply issues of same-sex marriage and online-originated partnerships, but the new range of matters of co-habitation and "shared lives" as Generation Y tries to avoid traditional marriage.
Growing up in Suffolk County, Lewis knew fairly early he was headed to the law: His father ("My hero") was a lawyer-CPA who tackled complex financial matters his entire career; a few times he let his son sit in on depositions. Lewis was an avid soccer player, and had a promising collegiate career at the University of Rochester until a knee injury sidelined him. (He remains a huge soccer enthusiast; in 2005 he became a founding member of F.C. United of Manchester and twice captained a local amateur team to Urban Soccer League's Championship.) While still in law school he joined Taub's thriving Manhattan practice, and earned a place with Taub almost immediately. "I've had numerous mentors, but Malcolm has certainly been chief among them - it's probably not an exaggeration to say he's taught me almost everything I know." Taub recognized two important qualities in Lewis: He's a tireless worker, and detail-oriented, a nice complement for a senior lawyer often preoccupied with the big picture. In many respects, Lewis brings natural business instincts to his work, both to the practice of law and to his clients' cases. He studied finance at UR's Simon Graduate School of Business; that focus has helped advance Lewis's career.
Over the course of the decade Lewis has prepared major cases with Taub. (Taub represented Tavern on the Green co-owner Kay LeRoy in her high-profile split.) In October 2010 Taub and Lewis joined the 47-lawyer Davidoff firm, creative litigators and government-relations experts influential with the city's and the state's political establishment - "practical problem solvers," Lewis says. "It's an excellent fit." His department, of growing importance to the firm, now has seven lawyers, including Leslie Barbara of the firm's Garden City office. Today, Lewis's practice includes plenty of new wrinkles - "cohabitation agreements" and property rights of long-time un-marrieds. And "Art Law" is a sub-specialty for Taub and Lewis, helping cultivate high-quality clients on the divorce side as well. Meantime, in a personal sense Lewis has grounded himself: Married with young twins, he recently moved to Nassau County. His wife, Jaime, practices Family Law in New York City, and his sister is a Rockland County Family lawyer. Away from the office "when I have a chance, and it's not often" he enjoys golf, and monitoring the progress of The New York Jets.