Despite not studying prelaw, history or criminal justice as an undergraduate, which are the usual undergraduate studies of a law student, Elliot Solop '09 believes that his experience studying finance at Montclair State has been a true asset in his practice as a family law attorney.
“I am very appreciative to the professors I had throughout my studies at Montclair State and have applied to my work many of the principles that I learned there.” It was one professor in particular, Philip Mancuso, a lawyer, who really inspired Solop to study law. It was in his business law class that Mancuso helped Solop to realize his passion and potential for law, and they remain friends today. Dr. Cecilia Ricci, who taught introduction to finance and finance seminar, was also immensely crucial in Solop’s career development. She “always brought the most out of my ability through her wealth of experience and impressive way of teaching.”
His professors weren’t his only influences, though. As a student, he played basketball for Montclair State and was active with the Accounting Society and Finance and Economics Society. His extra-curricular activities proved to be great preparation for life as an attorney. Solop says he “developed important qualities, such as the ability to work with others, leadership traits, and time management skills, that have greatly benefited my career and in some ways, I believe have set me apart.”
But the best part of his Montclair State experience, Solop said, was meeting his wife, Crena Sprague Solop. “As great as it is that I came out of Montclair with a degree in finance, I can’t describe how lucky I feel knowing that I have met someone I get to spend the rest of my life with,” he says. “I can’t thank Montclair State enough for that.”
Today, Solop is an associate at Ansell Grimm and Aaron, PC a multidisciplinary law firm in Ocean, N. J. He specializes in matrimonial and family law and practices in both New York and New Jersey.
“In addition, I am actively involved in local, state, and national bar associations including the New Jersey State Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Sports Lawyers Association, Middlesex County Bar Association (Chair, Sports & Entertainment Law Committee), Monmouth Bar Association and Haydn Proctor Inns of the Court (Monmouth County). I frequently organize and moderate CLE panels in the area of sports law on such issues as fantasy sports, intellectual property, and athlete representation,” he says.
Along with organizing Continuing Legal Education seminars, he often writes about a variety of legal and non-legal topics. In 2013, he co-authored a New York State Bar Association publication, “In the Arena: A Sports Law Handbook.”
Later this month, Solop will receive the “Young Lawyer of the Year” award from the Middlesex County Bar Association.
“I would recommend to any Montclair State student to enjoy your time as a whole: social, academic and athletic,” Solop says. From life-long relationships to valuable preparation for law school and beyond, Solop credits Montclair State with tying together many of the most important things in his life. To current students, his advice is simple: “The college experience is so short and should truly be enjoyed to its fullest.”