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SRZ's Enduring Legacy: Daniel M. Schuyler (1912-2001)

When Daniel Merrick Schuyler passed away on the morning of September 25, 2001, it was to our surprise and deep regret. Dynamic and unwavering in his calling, he had persuaded us he would live forever. During the six decades he practiced law here in Chicago, he touched countless lives. As an educator for more than 30 years, he influenced thousands of aspiring attorneys now dispersed across the country. His influence on our firm—which began in the mid-1970s when he united his third-generation law firm with one newly headed by Richard Zwirner and Michael Roche—endures today and will perpetuate.

Upon learning of Dan’s death, Michael Roche equated him with the heroes of an earlier generation, the men and women of World War II who sacrificed, both stateside and overseas, in the name of freedom. According to Michael, “Dan’s dedication to our justice system and to its laws was as admirable as the dedication exhibited by Americans who struggled to combat fascism on the cusp of the Great Depression.”

“Dan practiced law with a sense of the science of it,” says SRZ colleague Alison Barkley, who continues Dan’s legacy in estate and trust management. “To him, law was a means to affect his clients positively, worthy of reverence because of its importance to our civilization. He imbued his deep respect for the law to all he taught and to all of us with whom he practiced. We owe him greatly,” she says. “Here at SRZ we will strive to carry on his work.”

Richard Michaels, president of SRZ, adds, “It was an honor to work with Dan Schuyler, a true gentleman and icon in the Chicago legal community. Dan’s word was his bond and his influence lives on in the many students he taught at the Northwestern University School of Law, not only by what he said in the classroom, but by the way he conducted himself every day.”

Richard Zwirner, who had studied under Dan at Northwestern, concurs wholeheartedly. After all, 25 years ago it was he who suggested to Michael Roche that Dan Schuyler would add a compelling dimension to the firm. Today he says, “The list of Dan’s legal and personal accomplishments reflects the tenacity he applied to every aspect of his life and career. To Dan, the law was a profession first and foremost, not a business. We are all wiser for having known him.”

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