Edgar Snyder: Pioneer of Law Firm Advertising Looks Back on a 40-Year Career
His signature promise that “there’s never a fee unless we get money for you!” as he points into a TV camera has made Edgar Snyder, ’66, an icon in the Pittsburgh legal community. A pioneer in law firm advertising in the 1980s and one of the area’s most successful personal injury and product liability attorneys, Snyder came back to the University of Pittsburgh recently to reflect on his 40 years as a lawyer.
Snyder was honored as the inaugural speaker of the Edgar M. Snyder Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program at the School of Law on April 4. He spoke to students and faculty about the humble beginnings and later success of his law practice, and his commitment to community service, all of which have defined his career.
The Program was created last year by a generous gift to the School of Law from Snyder’s wife, Sandy, in honor of his distinguished service to the legal profession. It was established to bring a distinguished scholar or legal practitioner to the Law School each year to engage Pitt Law students and faculty on various issues in the legal profession, with an emphasis on ethical aspects of the profession.
Over the years, his firm has grown to include over 100 people in five office locations in Western Pennsylvania. Edgar Snyder & Associates has represented over 30,000 people injured in all kinds of accidents and has provided more than 350,000 free legal evaluations.
But it was Snyder’s decision to make a significant commitment to advertise his services—at a time when law firm advertising was in its infancy—that distinguished Snyder’s firm from all others and became the standard against which all other law firm advertising was measured.
Attorney Snyder has said, “If you’re fortunate to be successful in business, you have a responsibility to give something back.” And he and his wife are, indeed, passionate about giving “something back” to the community. Today, the Snyders spend nearly as much time in the community doing volunteer and fundraising work as they do in their law practice. (Sandy Snyder is the firm’s marketing director.)
By the creation of an endowment to support the Edgar M. Snyder Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program, the Snyders will enrich the education of students at Pitt Law for years to come by promoting the discussion of ethical issues in the legal profession.