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Long Island Press’ 2015 “Bethpage Best of Long Island” Taps “Best Law Firm”

By Brian Harmon

CampoloStony Brook graduate Joe Campolo — a former president of the University’s Alumni Association — is the best lawyer on Long Island, according to the Long Island Press’ “Bethpage Best of Long Island 2015.”

Campolo’s firm, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP in Ronkonkoma, was named the “Best Law Firm on Long Island” in the contest, which is the region’s largest business and professional awards program.

“You can’t be the best lawyer unless you’re surrounded by the best law firm,” said Campolo, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Stony Brook in 1994. “It was very gratifying to present these awards to the entire staff.

“We are all completely aligned in the firm’s mission. We all share the same values and the same vision — everyone comes here every day and works as hard as they possibly can to service our clients,” he added.

Campolo, who lives in Stony Brook, is hardly the lone Seawolf at his firm. Partner Scott Middleton ’84, as well as other attorneys and paralegals at the firm, are Stony Brook graduates.

“This is a very Stony Brook-centered practice,” said Middleton, who, like Campolo, is a past president of the Alumni Association.

Middleton and Campolo remain active members of the association and both have taught masters-level classes at the University. They also have donated generously to the University, giving to athletics, the Staller Center and Children’s Hospital, while establishing student scholarships.

“If it wasn’t for Joe and I meeting on the Stony Brook Alumni Association Board, our firm would never have come about,” said Middleton, who studied political science at Stony Brook.

The firm even has a “Stony Brook Conference Room” decorated with Stony Brook football jerseys, flags from the Alumni Association’s annual golf outing and photos from the yearly Wolfstock homecoming event, said Campolo, a season-ticket holder for Stony Brook basketball and football games.

Middleton called Campolo “hands down one the best lawyers I know,” adding, “This award is just great recognition of his efforts, as well as for the firm as a whole.”

Nominations are accepted from the public for the “Bethpage Best of Long Island” awards from January 1 until August 31. Once the top nominees are identified, voting is open from October 1 until December 15. One vote per IP address per day is accepted.

Stony Brook was voted the “Best College or University on Long Island.”

Campolo and Middleton, partners since 2008, said that much of their client base has come by way of the business leaders they have met through their work on Stony Brook’s Alumni Association Board.

“Stony Brook has been one of the biggest driving forces in the success of our law firm,” said Campolo, who grew up in Port Jefferson Station.

Carol Gomes, current president of the University’s Alumni Association, said the successful partnership between Campolo and Middleton exemplifies the value of  a Stony Brook education and the importance of remaining active with your alma mater.

“Stony Brook is what brought Joe and Scott together,” said Gomes, who is also the chief operating officer at Stony Brook University Hospital.

“The Alumni Association couldn’t be prouder to have a Stony Brook graduate be voted the best lawyer across Nassau and Suffolk, and to have a firm featuring two partners who are Stony Brook graduates be deemed the region’s best law firm.”

Winning the “Best Lawyer” award is a long way from Campolo’s time at Stony Brook, when he was a full-time student going to school at night while working full-time during the day as a computer salesman for RadioShack.

“Now, my firm represents RadioShack,” he noted.