By Nicole Sheldon | Rochester Business Journal | September 14, 2018
Unswerving childhood goal fulfilled for Phillips Lytle lawyer
Rochester native thankful for time working in father’s masonry business
“As far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to be an attorney.”
Anthony Iacchetta, 33, followed through with this aspiration he’s had since childhood. In middle school, he begged his parents to let him sign up for a law explorers program to investigate the field. After participating in the program, he was sold.
In 2007 he graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in history. In 2010 he graduated from the University of Buffalo with a law degree. Shortly after he was admitted to the bar as an attorney, the Irondequoit resident left the smaller firm he worked for and joined Phillips Lytle LLP. He is now a senior associate at the firm.
“My focus is fairly wide ranging for someone who works at a firm of this size,” explains Iacchetta. “I represent a lot of real estate developers across New York State.”
His duties run the gamut in the commercial real estate setting. He handles purchasing and sales, financing and corporate work for setting up companies. But that only accounts for one side of his job. The other half of Iacchetta’s time is spent on tax and commercial work in New York City.
Working in two practice areas keeps Iacchetta on his toes. He enjoys the thrill of always having something new on his desk, he says.
Although he prefers juggling different projects, Iacchetta likes to keep a regimented schedule, something he learned from working with his father, Tony, at the family business. Iacchetta’s dad owns Joseph Iacchetta & Son LLC, a small masonry company.
Joseph Iacchetta & Son was founded by Iacchetta’s grandfather, who immigrated to America from Italy. Iacchetta doesn’t know why his family chose Rochester when they came to the United States, but he is grateful for the strong roots they now have here. A member of the Italian Heritage Foundation of Rochester, Iacchetta keeps his culture and family close to his chest.
During undergraduate and law school, Iacchetta worked part time alongside his father at the masonry company to pay the bills.
“That job—it’s kind of funny saying this out loud—probably had more of an impact on me today than my law school training,” confesses Iacchetta. “It was tough; I had to work outside whether it was 90 degrees or minus 5 degrees. Plus, I was juggling my college classes and trying to have a social life. It gave me an appreciation for the type of job that I have now.”
Iacchetta had blue collar beginnings, but he now inhabits a white collar industry where his duties are vastly different than battling the elements.
“In law school, nobody ever told me that I’d have some sort of management responsibility,” says Iacchetta. “So that’s something I’ve had to develop here. But I love working in a team setting. I’ve been lucky to work in a group and be able to watch everyone use their own skills to create a product that works for the client.”
Iacchetta is working his way up the ladder, and his current aspiration is to make it to partner at Phillips Lytle. He has spent the last seven years making the firm his own, and he plans to keep it that way.
“I take pride in being a lawyer and presenting a good product,” he says. “I want to be locally known as a trusted advisor for any developer. I love Rochester; I’ve lived here my whole life. In fact, there are now more Iacchettas living in Rochester than in all of Italy.”
Iacchetta is fortunate to have bonded with seasoned attorneys at the firm who have helped him pave his way as a real estate lawyer. Richard Beers Jr., a partner at Phillips Lytle, took Iacchetta under his wing from the very beginning. As he grew his practice, he began working closely with Albert Mercury, also a partner of the firm.
“Over the years I’ve watched how they interact with clients and have had them look at my work and answer my questions,” says Iacchetta. “I wouldn’t be the lawyer I am today if it wasn’t for seeing those two brilliant attorneys handle their trades so well.”
Beers gave Iacchetta a memorable piece of advice that he lives by to this day. When he showed Iacchetta to his office he told him to “‘treat this office like your own law firm. Whether it’s an internal client giving you an assignment or one of the other clients that you’re doing work for, treat them all like they’re your clients and keep them happy.’”
Iacchetta says that he couldn’t have gotten through law school and pursued this time-consuming career without the support of his wife, Rachel, a chiropractor and business owner. He encourages others to seek out worthy role models and build a sturdy support system.
“Something I’ve seen in my own business that I think is probably true for any business is that you’ve got to be adaptable in today’s day and age,” he says. “You always have to be willing to do something new and do something that’s going to make you uncomfortable.”