Attorney Mark Schneider started as a file clerk in 1989 at Gifford, Krass, Sprinkle, Anderson and Citkowski P.C., worked there as a law clerk while attending law school, became an associate in 1998, a shareholder in 2004, and board chair in 2013. Gifford Krass merged into Dinsmore & Shohl LLP in September 2015. Schneider was appointed Dinsmore’s Office Managing Partner for Michigan this year; the firm’s Michigan offices are in Troy and Ann Arbor.
Schneider, who earned his undergraduate degree from Oakland University, and his law degree, cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law, is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department where he provides large corporations, innovative companies and individual inventors with strategic insight regarding their intellectual property assets, liabilities and opportunities. He was named to DBusiness Top Lawyers – Intellectual Property Law, 2013.
He participates on the board of the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce (past president 2014, 2015), with the Royal Oak Historical Society, and as a leader in several Boy Scout groups. Schneider and his wife live in Royal Oak, with their 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
By Sheila Pursglove
What would surprise people about your job? How I started. I’ve never actually created a resume and have only ever interviewed for one job, as a file clerk with Gifford Krass when I was 17. I never left, kept creating opportunities, and moving up the ladder.
Why did you become a lawyer? I learned that as a patent lawyer every day was different. I know what is on my daily docket, but I never know what will actually happen.
What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? “Game of Thrones” (trial by combat counts as law-related.)
Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional? I’m somewhat of a blend of the five named partners at the old GK firm – Gifford, Krass, Sprinkle, Anderson and Citkowski.
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? (British Formula One racing driver) Lewis Hamilton.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Go into it with a plan for what you are going to do when you graduate.
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? Winning the first motion in federal court that I personally wrote and argued.
What do you do to relax? What?
What other career path might you have chosen? I considered the Air Force for about a month when I was 17.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Start investing now, oh, and there is a job opening for a law clerk at a law firm in Birmingham.
Favorite local hangouts? I’m married with two kids. My wife and I haven’t had a favorite hangout in years. When we do go out we tend to go to downtown Royal Oak.
Favorite websites: Several local news sites (Crain’s, detnews, freep – I like to keep up on the local news).
Favorite app: Crossy Road, at least until I can beat my daughter’s record. After that, Music on my iphone.
Favorite music: Mid to late ’80s, and some early ’90s pop. U2, Rush, Duran Duran, Guano Apes, James… Most listened to music is classical and jazz.
What is your happiest childhood memory? Beating my dad in a foot race when I was 6. He was taunting me by running backwards – and backed into a tree. I won the race, then came back to check on him.
What is your most treasured material possession? My wedding ring.
What do you wish someone would invent? Auto-dictation software that actually works, flawlessly, the first time, without having to be trained, that also includes an equally flawless intuitive AI for document editing and handling.
What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2003, the year my now wife consented to dating me.
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? My grandfather’s farm in southeast Colorado (Great Plains country), on a clear evening, at sunset.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? Teleportation.
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play the guitar.
What is something most people don’t know about you? Over a single weekend, several years ago, I soloed a Cessna 152 (KPTK), solo skydived from 14,000 feet (Skydive Tecumseh) and went scuba diving to a depth of about 50-60 feet in Northern Michigan.
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, physicist Richard Feynman, comedian Don Rickles.
What’s the best advice you ever received? You can do it. Best advice ever heard: marry your best friend.
Favorite place to spend money? Royal Oak (shop local).
What is your motto? Be prepared.
Which living person do you most admire? (Austrian investor and former racing driver) Toto Wolff, don’t know much about him personally, but he has a really cool job.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Passing the State Bar and the Patent Bar a month apart.
What is the most unusual thing you have done? Stood with one foot on the wheel of an airplane, with the other in mid-air, while holding a wing strut on the outside of the cabin of a Cessna 182, while flying through holes in clouds, at 6,000 feet above the ground. Then jumping off.