Meet Geoff Snow, 39, criminal defence lawyer and founder of Snow Lawyers Professional Corporation, and one of our 20 Under 40 Class of 2021 recipients
GEOFF SNOW LAUNCHED his practice, Snow Lawyers Professional Corporation, in May of 2011 and he would be the first person to tell you he thought he was going to need a second job. But through dogged persistence and guidance-seeking from peers, he has built one of the most successful criminal law practices in the city. Committed to access to justice and an advocate for some of the most marginalized members of our community, he now mentors two up-and-coming criminal lawyers on his own staff, and he continues his community work as a founding board member of Paws United, an organization that has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of dogs in London and the surrounding area.
What would you call your biggest business achievement, and why?
I have built a firm with people who really care about serving clients and helping them deal with some of the most challenging moments of their lives. This often also involves helping people who have many personal challenges and are looking for someone to stand up for them. My firm does that, and I think a lot of vulnerable people in the community know this. That makes me really proud.
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What about your biggest business obstacle — and how did you tackle it?
My biggest business obstacle by far was my youth and inexperience at the beginning of my career. There was no shortcut around this. I would talk to senior lawyers and assist them with cases when I could. I also took every case that I could get — didn’t matter if it paid little or was in jurisdictions that required a lot of travel. I took on anything and everything and slowly started to build up a base of clients who knew me and trusted what I could do. It was sometimes exhausting, but it led to repeat business and a lot of referrals. I’m sure the exhaustion also led to more grey hairs, which took care of the youthfulness at a quicker pace.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be patient. Focusing on long-term goals and keeping the bigger picture in mind can be hard, but the legal profession requires time to acquire knowledge. It also takes time to develop skill and to build a reputation. There is no shortcut to success.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
All shows in The Bachelor franchise: The Bachelor/Bachelorette; Bachelor in Paradise; Bachelor/Bachelorette Canada; Bachelor in Paradise Canada; Bachelor Winter Games … all of them. Maybe it isn’t a guilty pleasure, though, because I feel no shame letting everyone know I watch every episode of every season. Interview by Kieran Delamont