Legal-Ease: The legacy of attorney Lee R. Schroeder

Last week, Lee R. Schroeder wrote about how it was his 10-year anniversary writing for The Lima News. Now the irony is I am writing about Lee’s legacy over his 22 years of practice and over Lee’s 48 years on this earth, which ended unexpectedly on Feb. 18, 2024, due to a short illness.

Having worked daily with Lee since 2017, I have seen and learned so much from him. I am forever grateful for our paths crossing as my life has been forever changed by him, as many others I know could say the same.

Many knew Lee for his larger-than-life personality. I knew Lee for his character and heart. Lee truly was the most selfless, generous and compassionate man I have ever met and, likely, the most selfless and generous man I will ever meet on this earth.

If Lee had two pennies and you asked for three, Lee would give you two and hunt you down when he got that third penny. This speaks to the character and type of person Lee was, and this translated into his daily work as an attorney.

Lee instilled in me from day one how he saw the legal practice and how Lee’s vision was not the “norm” for most law firms. Lee talked with me daily about how our firm would be different than other law firms. Lee wanted to create a unique legacy and unique work environment that truly focused on quality legal work. It’s a work environment where you always do what is right, not what is easiest, and that truly is centered around genuine client relationships.

Whether Lee knew it or not at the time, he had already achieved that legacy, and Lee had created the work environment he always envisioned.

Lee was the epitome of a family man. He loved his family and spoke of them daily to everyone he met, especially those closest to him. Lee was proud of his farm roots and of every accomplishment his family members had. He often told me about things his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews achieved. I know so much about Lee’s family members, I sometimes forget they have no idea that Lee talked about their accomplishments all the time.

Lee was also a devout Catholic and wanted to help everyone he met get to heaven to be with “Baby Jesus.” While Lee’s faith led every major decision he made, Lee also used his faith when possible in the “client development” aspect of the legal practice.

Lee loved client development the most because he never knew a stranger, which at times I’ll admit was a bit annoying. Regularly when trying to have an attorney meeting and in mid-conversation, Lee would yell, “welcome” and greet every person who walked in the door of the establishment where we were meeting. He definitely was the loudest person in the room, and the world will be a lot quieter without him in it.

Lee Schroeder, you are already so unbelievably missed. I am unsure of God’s plan, but I know there is one. I will do everything in my power to ensure your legacy lives on at Schroeder Law LLC. I will do my best to ensure your vision of the legal world continues, and I will continue to live a life with purpose and intention.

Schroeder Law might be without its visionary leader, but you provided the vision, and we will continue to ensure your vision is carried out for the people of Northwest Ohio and beyond. For now, all of those you left behind will continue to “make good choices” and try to make you so unbelievably proud. Until we meet again.

Nichole Y. Shafer an Ohio-licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. The practice is limited to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. The office can be reached at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.