CLASSMATE SPOTLIGHT: Steve Rockoff

 

76_rockoff_full-body-shotAfter receiving his fascinating artwork, we asked Steve what motivated him to draw these caricatures and to tell us what brought him to BC Law and beyond. Here’s his response and story, as only Steve can tell it.

Life Before BC Law

I graduated from Syracuse University with honors and a major in the Maxwell School of Political Science – served as treasurer of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Political Science Honorary and did extremely well with my LSATs. I was accepted to Duke, NYU, Georgetown, GW, American, BU and BC law schools and was placed on the waiting list at Harvard Law School. I spent that summer before law school on Capital Hill working with my congressman during the Watergate hearings, with my uncle, Dr. David Rockoff (the radiologist who found the bullet in Reagan) putting pressure on me to stay in D.C. and go to Georgetown or GW Law School. At the same time, I had the opportunity to meet and discuss BC Law with Father Drinan.

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Yes – this is our future Secretary of State.

All of the above is NOT boasting – it’s background.

I decided that after a summer in D.C. and being young at heart and not ready for the adult world, I wanted to experience Boston – the college capital of the world. At that time, I was still on the waiting list at Harvard. Still with me on this narrative? Well, my cousin Ron was then a second year law student at BC and also a CPA who happened to be Dean Huber’s accountant (Ron was 4-5 years older than me, and like my classmate John Kerry, started law school later in life). Ron wanted me to go to BC and he told Dean Huber that fact. My cousin heavily recruited me, even setting me up on a double date with Bobby Orr. I was “wined and dined” and I knew I wanted to be in Boston. So, easy decision, knowing I couldn’t lose as I still hadn’t heard from Harvard – just in case. So, I chose BC Law.

RUDE AWAKENING!! We have our orientation and I hear “Look to your left; look to your right – only one of you will be here after three years of study. Cocky me, who experienced success in my prior academic world, without working hard and missing classes etc, etc. in my undergraduate experience – I looked to both sides of me and figured, I am the person who stays.

WRONG – the first year of law school I learned the hard way that one cannot skip classes and wait to the 11th hour before exams to study. I did okay, but almost failed Torts with a C- gift. For whatever reason, I had trouble concentrating in that class, so I sat in the back of the class (to avoid being called on since I never read the textbook or paid attention in class) and drew caricatures of those around me, such as Dean Huber, Professors Houghteling, Baron, Barry, Smith, Strickman, Slizewski, and Father Nicholson and a few classmates such as Steve Olden, Jerry Zaro, David Strumwasser, and Ken Bouchard. I even drew a self “portrait.”

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So, as you can see below, I have led a successful 40 years since graduating BC Law, on the streets doing caricatures.

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JUST KIDDING! The truth of the matter is, I spent 16 years practicing law as the business and tax law partner in a northern N.J. law firm. I even went back to school in the early 1980’s, with great recommendations from professors Ault and McDaniel, enabling me to be one of the first non-accountant, non-CPAs to get into NYU’s LL.M in Taxation Law program (I did very well in all my tax-related courses with Ault and McDaniel and the famous Emil Slizewski. I also was a football agent as a side business. I sold my partnership interest to my law partners in 1991–I hated timesheets and longed for the excitement of being part of the business-ownership action. I bought into a telecom expense management company with headquarters in New York City and San Francisco, which my partners and I subsequently sold to a public company. I retired and moved from Livingston, N.J., to Admirals Cove in Jupiter, Fla., where I played golf and became president of our club. Ironically, I reunited with classmate and reunion committee member, Jack Donenfeld, whose mother-in-law is a neighbor.

The late, great Boston Mayor, with whom I served as a volunteer in 1973 in Boston, was a resident here, and we became re-acquainted before he succumbed to Alzheimers.

I got my real estate license, and have spent the last 10 years successfully brokering commercial and luxury residential real estate deals in Jupiter and the northern Palm Beaches. I also serve as the chairman of The First Tee, a commissioner on the Loxahatchee River District and a commissioner on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

I am a happy camper – happily married to my wife, Beth, with a daughter, Dara (and her husband, Rob) living in New York City and expecting our first grandchild, and my son, Matt, and his fiancee, Amanda, also in New York City and getting married next September.

And…on occasion, as you can see, I still draw caricatures for relaxation purposes.

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