This is part of a series focusing on students who have received scholarship assistance from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and have returned to the area to live and work. If you were a scholarship recipient and want to share your story, contact our Communications Associate Sarah Marciniak, 661-3390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growing up in Jamestown, John LaMancuso dreamed of practicing law and working in his hometown. Today, he is doing both.
“My dad (Judge John LaMancuso) practiced law while I was growing up and I saw how much he was able to help others, and how rewarding it was for him,” John said.
After graduating from Jamestown High School in 2004, John headed west to attend Indiana University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Kelley School of Business. In 2012, John graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.
While in law school, John served as law clerk at Lipsitz &Ponterio, LLC before being promoted to a practicing attorney following graduation. While there, he represented individuals suffering from mesothelioma and lung cancer caused exposure to asbestos, and individuals who were exposed to lead paint as children.
“I think that was such a rewarding experience to develop relationships with men, and sometimes women, who were really in a terrible time to help them through the legal process of trying to obtain some compensation for their injuries and it was never fair or enough to compensate them for what they had to go through it was nice to play that role for people,” he said.
In 2014, John returned to Jamestown to join Lewis & Lewis, P.C. and continues to focus his practice on civil litigation, personal injury, criminal defense and Workers’ Compensation.
“Since I started law school, I knew I eventually wanted to come back here. I think we have such a wonderful community with great people,” John said. “So after law school I was just waiting for the opportunity to join a firm that had an office here. As soon as that opportunity presented itself, I took it right away.”
Recently married, both John and his wife Gillian look forward to putting roots down in the Chautauqua region and have enjoyed being home.
“There hasn’t been a time in the past 11 years, until now, where I’ve been able to see my immediate family on a daily basis. I can go and have lunch with my mom at home, or go and see my dad during his lunch break. And it is a wonderful thing,” John said.
“There’s a certain nostalgia about things that you did, whether it’s a certain restaurant you used to eat at or sledding in the winter time at Allen Park, but just seeing the hill and thinking about those things brings back a lot of great memories growing up here.
Current high school seniors or college students interested in learning more about the scholarship opportunities available through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation can do so here.
Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 school- year and are due June 1.