7226 Lee Deforest DR #207
Columbia, MD 21046
Year admitted to bar: 2013
Law School: University of Baltimore, School of Law
College: The Pennsylvania State University
Born: June 10, 1988, Silver Spring, MD
Practice Areas: Wills/estate planning, Criminal Defense, DUI/DWI, Traffic, Juvenile
Education: The Pennsylvania State University (B.S., 2010); University of Baltimore School of Law (J.D. 2013)
Memberships: Maryland Bar Association; Howard County Bar Association; Young Lawyer’s Section (Co-Chairman)
Trustworthy. Aggressive. Hard-working. Compassionate. These are just some of the reasons why so many choose Shapiro, Zwanetz & Associates to fight their case. It’s these same qualities that Justin quickly identified and learned as a young law clerk at SZA, which shaped the way he’s approached his legal career.
Justin Lake is a passionate advocate for his clients who brings valuable courtroom experience to Shapiro, Zwanetz & Associates from his time as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Howard County. A lifelong Maryland resident born in Silver Spring, Justin moved to Howard County with his parents and two younger sisters in 1996. Once completing his secondary school education at Atholton High School, Justin attended Pennsylvania State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences in Supply Chain and Information Systems from the Smeal College of Business. He did his first year of law school at Widener University in Harrisburg. Feeling a strong desire to return home to Maryland and practice law in the same community that raised him, Justin transferred to the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he graduated, cum laude, in May of 2013.
During his second year of law school, Justin was a law clerk for Shapiro, Zwanetz & Associates. He watched Jason and Dave work tirelessly every day to defend their clients; he learned the importance of customer service and hard-work tailored specifically toward each client’s individual case. Justin had the incredible opportunity to assist Jason and Dave in successfully defending a client accused of first-degree murder. It was readily apparent to Justin that he shared the same values and his goal was to return to Shapiro, Zwanetz & Associates after law school.
During his third year at UB, Justin participated in the Criminal Practice Clinic, where he had the opportunity to work as a Student Attorney at the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office. This courtroom experience prosecuting criminal and serious traffic cases led to Justin’s passion for criminal law and being in the courtroom. His biggest takeaway from that experience was seeing firsthand just how foreign the criminal justice system is for someone accused of a crime―how it can be such a scary and unfamiliar territory. The sentiment resonated so deeply with Justin; he knew he wanted to have the opportunity to be able to assist people through difficult situations in order to achieve a favorable outcome.
In October 2014, Justin returned to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office to begin his career as an Assistant State’s Attorney. During his nearly four years as an ASA, Justin spent time prosecuting cases in both the district court and circuit court. Justin prosecuted hundreds of DUI/DWI cases in district court, as well as misdemeanor criminal offenses. He also prosecuted felony cases in circuit court, to include possession with intent to distribute, armed robbery and first degree murder.
Now back at SZA, Justin is ready to take the knowledge learned at the State’s Attorney’s Office and apply it to fight for his clients. He believes in the importance of communication and responsiveness; his clients are involved and informed from start to finish during what is undoubtedly an unsettling experience. He takes this same compassionate and thoughtful approach when making sensitive estate planning decisions with his clients.
Justin and his wife, Rachele, were married in Baltimore, MD in 2016. They currently reside in Baltimore City with their golden retriever, Darla, and cat, Alfalfa. Despite living in Baltimore City, he is a passionate D.C. sports fan, and spends his free time cheering on his Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards and, of course, his Nittany Lions.
Call: (410) 884-6100
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