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Daniel Zdrodowski, 31

Associate, Hais, Hais & Goldberger

Daniel ZdrodowskiLocation: Clayton

Practice Areas: Family law

Law School: Saint Louis University

At one point, Daniel Zdrodowski seriously thought of becoming an apprentice silversmith.

“I eventually decided, though, that becoming a lawyer would be a better use of my skills and a better contribution to society,” he said.

It’s a good thing he did. Since earning his law degree in 2014, Zdrodowski has first- and second-chaired numerous cases, and he won 11 out of his past 11 motions for summary judgment, according to his nominator.

Among other charitable endeavors, he is helping to organize a lawyers association within the Missouri Athletic Club and a neighborhood association for his area of St. Louis. He also recently ran for a seat on The Missouri Bar Board of Governors and has been selected as a member of the Board of Freeholders for St. Louis.

What advice do you have for young lawyers? 

Be client-centered. At the end of the day, the opinions of your clients are the ones that matter the most. This may mean putting yourself in difficult situations, whether it be risking embarrassment to argue a tricky motion or simply offering a compassionate ear if they want to cry. Remember that they come first, and without them, we are just people in suits reading books.

What is something that would surprise people about you? 

In undergrad, I sang with the New Orleans Opera, wrote and recorded a country music album and founded a small boarding house for Marines who lived off-base. 

What is your biggest accomplishment this year?

I took on a case that several much more seasoned lawyers took a pass at. They said that I did not have the facts on my side. They said the applicable law was against me. My opposing counsel thought this as well and refused to settle, putting my client in a precarious situation. I threw everything I could into the case and won after a full trial. My client was crying in relief, and it was one of my proudest moments as an attorney.

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