Michael Gulotta: The Dynamic Attorney

Michael Gulotta_Exeleon Magazine

Knowledge is power and being a good attorney means respecting the knowledge you’ve obtained, striving to attain more, and using it to help those who do not possess the same expertise.

Michael Gulotta is dynamic, resilient and committed attorney with the vision to help people through his law practice. Upon the death of his father, Anthony Gulotta, he immediately took over the reins of Gulotta & Gulotta, PLLC — giving life to the new firm.

Continuing the Gulotta legacy, Michael is making sure Gulotta & Gulotta, PLLC is a place where members of the community can seek help with their legal troubles. Michael says, “Being a good attorney is realizing that you were gifted with the education and capability to help people who really have nowhere else to turn.”

As a pioneering leader, Michael has built his moral compass to guide him in a way that is consistent with his values. Moreover, he has relied on many leadership styles — being both collaborative and transformational — to build morale, motivation, and an individualistic sense of being for his team and clients.

Subsequently, his clients mean everything to him as he prides himself and his talented team to achieve desired outcomes. He feels that his clients deserve nothing but the best. Combined with his team’s rich knowledge, experience, and legal expertise, he is driven to provide the best legal services with utmost respect and professionalism.

A balanced perspective

It is vital to consider the impact of a scheduled work-life balance in a leader’s life. The ‘work’ aspect ensures that every waking hour is spent in maximizing impact, productivity and achieving goals while the other aspect gives a well-rounded perspective on life’s other important goals like — family time, health and mental wellbeing, and passions.

However, in Michael’s life one day bleeds into the next. Days become months, and months become years seemingly overnight. He shares that he still hasn’t achieved a perfect work-life balance.

His typical day begins with him checking work emails from bed. Then, he gets ready and heads to the office, court, or his home office to tackle time-sensitive tasks. “I have been criticized for failing to remember to take a break and eat some lunch. I do try to end my in-office time no later than 5 p.m. At home, I try to prepare dinner, do some laundry, and watch a little television before bed,” he adds.

However, his eye wanders occasionally back to his work email and this is why he advises to take a break from your mobile device before hitting the bed. Michael thinks that the balance shouldn’t feel like a daily juggling act. Rather, he believes that “we should all allow ourselves to have busy days or even months devoted to work.”

Subsequently, he shares that the balance comes in taking a few days or weeks off of work to devote back to other aspects of your life. That is, in his opinion, the only way one can achieve a work-life balance if one is an entrepreneur.

Michael Gulotta_Exeleon Magazine

Championing his vision in adversity

It is important to recognize that you are only as resilient as your foundation and that requires time, patience and focus to continue building on it. While the road to success includes many setbacks and breakthroughs, focus and clear prioritization help in flourishing and thriving professionally.

Similarly, for Michael each case presents its own set of challenges. Sometimes, he finds a familiar pattern developing. For instance, some clients would require a lot more attention than others, necessitating unrealistic weekly or daily updates on a case that may take years to play out; while other clients have unrealistic expectations due to private google searches they have performed or friends and family that have given their “expert legal advice.”

Michael believes that he can hedge these challenges with honesty and transparency. He adds, “If you explain to a client up-front how long a case may take and the different trajectories it could travel in, then the client is less likely to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to a timeline, requiring less frequent updates.”

Effective communication unfolds clarity of thought, actions and processes. Michael realizes the importance of this and makes sure that there is no scope of miscommunication from his end. In his own words, he shares, “Communication is key on the attorney’s end.”

But along with communication, patience also plays a key role in influential leadership. When caught in the eye of the storm, retaining composure defines true leadership skills. It also reduces the possibility of snap judgments and improves the quality of decision-making.

Similarly, Michael also believes in the power of patience as this encourages high emotional intelligence which further helps in creating long-lasting, meaningful and deep relationships with everyone — his clients, employees and other stakeholders.

He also insists that clients need to understand the essence of patience and allow an attorney the chance to get back to them with an effective resolution as opposed to quick and half-baked solutions.

Harnessing his team’s talent

There is a stark contrast between teams of today and those of the past: today, they are more versatile, flexible, dynamic, and digital. But the one core principle that they strongly hinge on is the importance of collective collaboration.

Michael takes great pride in his team and its achievements. He has been successful in creating a compelling direction that inspires, engages, and energizes his team members. Consequently, the strong structure of his high-performing team has encouraged positive team dynamics leading to greater, effective, and sustainable results.

He especially mentions Jacqueline Verni, his principle personal injury paralegal, who has immense experience and multi-tasks like a true professional. Her ability to attend to every client’s need immediately while being a mother of two children under the age of 5, is both astonishing and commendable.

His other asset to the team – Vivian Contressa, the head real estate paralegal, has decades of experience handling purchases and sales. Michael shares, “I cannot go to a closing without hearing our clients rave about what an amazing experience it has been to work with our firm because of Vivian.” Although buying or selling your home can be a very stressful life experience, Vivian definitely sets his clients at ease, communicates with everyone involved in the transaction regularly, and has multiple self-checks of her work.

Although COVID-19 has hit everyone very hard, he is extremely proud of his team’s achievements and contributions. “We have all been able to work diligently from home when needed and get the job done,” he asserts.

His continuing legacy

Michael’s association with being an attorney is a generational trait. In fact, every generation of his family has had an attorney in it.

He shares, “I have had family members sitting as the Presiding Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals, County Executives, business owners, and public servants.” This laid the foundation of him choosing and applying to law school.

His father always suggested that he become a lawyer against the advice of counsel. Even after admission to the bar, Michael, unlike so many of his classmates, consciously decided to not work for his father. Instead, he represented children in family court and later became a senior court attorney for the New York State Supreme Court.

Once his father passed away, he understood the importance of keeping his legacy alive. He noticed the effect of his father’s work on many lives. Michael Gulotta then proceeded to change the name of the firm to include his father, and he infuses his father’s presence into everything he does — including this article.

However, one of the most heartfelt pieces of advice Michael received recently was not to hold himself to any standard – to be his own person. He adds, “Despite any family legacies, you cannot put the pressure of any family legacy on yourself. Being true to yourself is how you will be able to continue that legacy.”

On being your advocate

Enabling leadership involves inclusiveness and the involvement of everyone to bring out the best in others. Michael has borrowed this trait from his community and family where the focus is on ever-evolving feedback and overall development.

In fact, Michael enjoys the same hard-earned respect and reverence as his father did within the legal community, and he uses every resource available to make sure that his clients are well taken care of.

With his law firm focusing on areas across personal injury, real estate, divorce, family law, and other civil matters, his advice to future attorneys is remarkable and straightforward — “Only do this if you have a genuine interest and passion for it.”

Michael is a well-rounded personality and is not afraid to stretch his boundaries to be more aware and futuristic. He showcases the right skillset to shoulder the responsibilities of his people, team, and clients in a rapidly growing world.

Additionally, he encourages aspiring and practicing attorneys to explore different areas of the law to diversify their experiences and find out what they like. He believes it’s important to be open and advocate for yourself, while striving to grow and be productive.

He strongly recommends trying different types of work — the public and private sectors— to understand the differences, benefits, and areas of improvements. The insights from these experiences are especially valuable as they will guide, help, and build people to figure out what works best for them, and their lifestyle.

Visit Michael Gulotta’s Website.

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