For more than two decades, Joshua Schiffer (J.D. ’02) championed thousands of clients, guiding them through trials, appeals, and the complexities of the legal system. Now the seasoned lifetime criminal defense attorney will return to Georgia State University College of Law where it all started to serve as the keynote speaker for the Winter Commencement and Hooding Ceremony on Wednesday, December 15, 2023.
“I am deeply moved that I have been invited to do this. My career is based entirely on my degree that I got at Georgia State Law, it’s been an exciting whirlwind…,” said Schiffer, who graduated one year after 9/11.
The aftermath of 9/11 had a profound impact on Schiffer and his classmates’ perspectives — fundamentally reshaping their future paths. It became clear that conducting business as usual was no longer an option for him.
“I don't think any of us knew how much the events of that day would dominate our careers. I am deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished, so many of us served in varied roles, recalibrating what mattered as the future of the Law in 2002,” he said. After working as a law clerk in Cobb County Superior Court and a successful stint in real estate, Schiffer (J.D. ’02) had a pivotal realization: he had the “gift of gab.”
This discovery set him on a path toward a career as a public defender, which he credits as an important development. After front-line exposure to the hardships of the indigent and accused, a career of helping is what ultimately matters to Schiffer.
Establishing his private practice in 2007, The Schiffer Firm, Schiffer's career trajectory transformed as he navigated countless cases across the legal spectrum, representing diverse clients ranging from municipal courts to the federal system.
However, the solitary journey didn't last long as fate intervened in the form of Doug Chanco, a former adversary and prosecutor, persuading Schiffer to join forces with him. Together, they founded ChancoSchiffer P.C. in 2011. The legal duo offers their expertise in criminal and civil law from offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI, and with additional admissions in Alabama, North Carolina, and New York.
Also known as a legal pundit, Schiffer frequently appears as a guest on Court TV and Atlanta News First (CBS), offering insights. on legal matters within Georgia. His collaboration with the news outlets included live coverage of former President Donald Trump's indictment in Fulton County as well as noteworthy trials nationally.
Schiffer’s portfolio also includes advocacy for victims of former financier Jeffrey Epstein, Copy City defendants, and other high-profile matters.
“Nothing prepares you for court like COURT. My Georgia State Law internship in Fulton Landlord Tenant Court, STLA with the stunning Tom Jones, Advanced Evidence with Richard Deane. Those experiences prepared me to get into the well and fight for clients.”
He seamlessly navigates the media landscape, making frequent appearances on prominent platforms such as Court TV, Scripps Network, The Grio, CNN, Gray Television, various podcasts, and print media outlets. His adeptness in engaging with diverse media channels underscores his commitment to raising awareness and sharing insights into legal matters that resonate with the masses.
He attributes his numerous accolades as a legal expert to the COL.
“Georgia State Law is where I found my calling and career. Professors like Pat Morgan, Corneill Stephens, Basil Mattingly, Mary Radford, and Paul Carey loved the law inspirationally, and really wanted you to succeed... they were invested in what you learned. That matters.”
In addition to his professional pursuits, Schiffer extends his expertise to a select group of individuals, delivering tailored legal guidance and overseeing their daily affairs. This showcases his dedication to offering personalized, top-tier service.
-Written by Maya Carpenter