Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart
Lisa Schneider leads the trusts and estates practice at the Florida law firm Gunster, and has had nearly three decades of experience counseling families and closely held business owners in wills, trusts and estates, and business succession planning matters. A well-established professional in the Palm Beach area, Schneider is originally from New York and started her career working in Manhattan as a commercial litigator.

"I started as one of about 30 first-year associates at the firm," Schneider recalls. "I had a number of attractive cases and clients—there were sports teams, filmmaking clients, and some very interesting matters—but I found myself most often either in a back room writing briefs or in court waiting for a hearing, only to have it be adjourned or have the opposing counsel not show up. After doing that for about a year, understanding that my role as a litigator would have eventually taken me to trial, I realized I didn’t see myself representing major corporations. It wasn’t personally satisfying to me."

Schneider’s office at her prior firm happened to be in the same area as the trusts and estates group. She got to know some of the trusts and estates lawyers and became very interested in joining their practice. New associates were rarely considered for trusts and estates work, but she pleaded her case with one of the senior trusts and estates partners, offering to leave voluntarily at the end of six months if things didn’t work out. Schneider convinced him to give her a shot, and she practiced trusts and estates law at the New York firm for more than six years before moving to Florida with her husband and joining Gunster’s team. It was a good move for her personally and for her practice, Schneider notes. She clearly enjoys her work and its many challenges and rewards.

"I enjoy working with individuals and families, and being a counselor and a problem solver," says Schneider. "Trusts and estates work is part psychology, part technical ability, and part ability to communicate clearly. When you put it all together, it makes for a very fulfilling and satisfying career. I enjoy what I do and hope to continue counseling clients for many years to come."

In addition to her practice, Schneider is co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum at Gunster and is a member of numerous professional and community organizations. She is a founding trustee of the Jewish Women’s Foundation, a social change organization for women, and a founding member of Impact the Palm Beaches, a local community organization geared to helping residents of North Palm Beach County by addressing health, family, education, and other related needs. She has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America since 2007 in trusts and estates law and litigation – trusts and estates.