Welcome to Cooke & Steffan, Attorneys At Law
Cooke & Steffan, attys. is a family practice law firm located in Alden, New York. The staff includes two attorneys and two legal assistants who service individual and small business clients in Erie, Genesee and Wyoming Counties.
The law firm began in the middle of the 20th Century under the name Cooke & Cooke. Then owners John and Richard Cooke, brothers born of a prominent local family, began the practice while at the same time delving into local and state politics. Eventually the Cooke brothers needed help with the law business, as Mr. John Cooke had become a Judge with the New York State Court of Claims and Richard Cooke was serving as a New York State Senator.
Richard T. Cooke¢??s long time aide at the New York State Senate in Albany, Edwin F. Steffan, agreed to join the law practice as a partner in the mid 1970??s, and immediately began the dutiful and honorable calling to service of the legal needs of local residents.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cooke was serving on the Erie County Fair Board and acting as a director on the Board of the Alden State Bank; all the while practicing law at the firm.
In the early 1980??s, Mr. Cooke retired from the active practice of law to St. Lucie, Florida and Edwin practiced alone under the firm name. By this time John Cooke had also retired from the NYS Court of Claims and thus the involvement of the Cooke brothers in the day-to-day involvement of the firm came to an end.
Mr. Edwin Steffan also had a calling to public service, as previously noted, and continued that role by serving a term as the Supervisor of the Town of Alden in the 1980??s.
In 1986, nearing retirement and in need of an assistant for his busy law practice, Mr. Steffan looked to his nephew, Thomas A. Steffan for help. The 26-year-old Thomas was a recent graduate of Albany Law School. In September of that year he began his service at the Cooke & Steffan firm as a partner with Edwin. Both Steffans agreed to keep the name Cooke in the firm heading to honor the many years of service given by John and Richard Cooke in building the business.
Edwin Steffan retired in 1992, and Thomas has served as the sole proprietor and owner of the law firm since that time.
In his 20 years of ownership, Thomas has seen the business grow and prosper. During this time, Thomas has personally represented individuals, banks, and businesses, assisted local volunteer civil groups, served as Town Prosecutor, and has volunteered as defense representation. In addition, he now participates in the Volunteer Lawyer Project, which provides law services to those who cannot otherwise afford a lawyer. He has a balanced view of the law and its role in society due to his many years of private practice. His motto, and the firm??s focus is simply stated ??We are lawyers, we serve.? The firm now represents hundreds of clients from the Alden State Bank to the Zientek Estate.
Cooke & Steffan continues to preserve the tradition of quality service to individuals and small business entities, to provide pro bono work for those who cannot afford to pay an attorney, and to seek out new areas of need for legal services.
Planning Your Estate
It is always a wise decision to ease the emotional and financial burden on your family at the time of your death by having made arrangements ahead of time. Inheritance and estate laws are complex. Identifying your assets and planning for your estate is the best way to ensure that your family is able to receive what you intend for them to have. From simple wills to complex trusts and life estate deeds, a consult with our office can help you to make these difficult decisions.