ATTORNEY ADVERTISING SUPER LAWYERS MAGAZINE / UPSTATE NEW YORK 2015 9
cleaning the horse stalls, feeding the guinea
fowl and awaiting the arrival of nearly three
dozen ducklings, Schröder keeps an eye on her
email, alternating between her kitchen table
and the finished loft above her horse barn.
“It’s hard work here, it can be very physical,
but it’s also very rewarding,” she says.
“We’re both country souls,” husband
Mark says. “She saw a vision, and together,
we both work for the same goal.”
Reaching those goals can be a 24-hour
mission. With her chores done and all quiet
on the legal front, Schröder readies to
travel the 15 miles to the nearest grocery
store. While she produces much of her own
food, including carrots, potatoes, eggs and
chickens, she isn’t totally self-sustaining.
Then it’s back to the farm where she will be
entertaining her neighbors for dinner.
Before bed, Schröder checks to make sure
her pager is on as she begins her 10 p.m.
to 4 a.m. on-call shift as an EMT with the
Franklinville Fire Department.
“When I was still living in the city and
commuting out here, I began to realize
how remote this area is and how far away
help is,” she says.
She responds to as many as 70 calls per
year, assisting with car accidents, people
injured on their farms and residents with a
variety of medical emergencies.
Whether tending to the law or land,
one aspect is the same: Schröder is in
Female farmers are few, a truth
accentuated by the farms surrounding her
property. But Schröder says she feels accepted
by her fellow farmers.
“We know them very well,” she says of
the Amish farm families. “The men of the
families come by probably four times a
week. And every time they come, you invite
them in, they sit at your table, have coffee,
have food, and then you talk business.”
Business topics include operating a co-op
milk house used by three families. Because of
the Amish ban on electricity, Schröder leases
a small plot of land where she owns the
electric-powered machinery that allows the
Amish to process their milk and keep it cold.
At the firm, which is a certified Women’s
Business Enterprise, Schröder again finds
herself the exception to the rule. Despite
numbers showing that law schools have
been graduating close to equal numbers
of men and women for the last decade or
more, in Buffalo, says Schröder, that hasn’t
“You ask yourself why there are so few
women in leadership roles, and you have
to wonder: is it an issue where forces are
working against women to not permit
them to rise to those levels? Or is there
a certain amount of self-selection going
on?” Schröder says. “I think it is actually a
combination of both.”
With Waverly Pond growing and
becoming a profitable business, and her
law practice at a point where she can be
selective, the future is malleable.
“I think I’m going to try to take seven
or eight more years and then transition
my practice to be out here more full
time,” she says.
Sitting on the porch of her rustic cabin
under the shade of the honey locust trees
while a gentle breeze flutters the wind
chimes adorning the beams, it’s easy to
imagine that timeline getting sped up.
PAIRING QUALITY LEGAL SERVICES
WITH INDIVIDUAL CLIENT ATTENTION
Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C., the largest New York
State-certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) law
firm in Upstate New York, is led by three principals
who collectively have nearly 100 years of experience
representing businesses and individuals throughout
the state. From insurance defense to labor and
employment, municipal law, equine and gaming law and
representation of automobile dealerships, the attorneys
have a broad base of experience and a legacy of results.
As work and clients have spread, the firm has grown to
a total of six offices, including four offices throughout
the Capital District as well as additional offices south
in Poughkeepsie and east in Bennington, Vermont.
The firm’s attorneys believe their longstanding
relationships with their clients will lead to a successful
future of growth and development, both for their
clients as well as for the firm.
"Our firm prides itself on the one-on-one attention
we are able to provide to our clients," says President
Claudia A. Ryan. "As our client base grows, it is
important for us to grow with it. Our six office
locations allow us to give our clients the experienced
legal representation they need in a location that is
most convenient for them."
450 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205
PH: (518) 452-1800 • FX: (518) 452-6435
Claudia A. Ryan*
Top 25 Women
James T. Towne, Jr.*
Top 25 Hudson Valley
Susan F. Bartkowski*
*CHOSEN TO 2015 SUPER LAWYERS