Education and Professional Background
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Mr. Petralia attended the College of William and Mary, where he earned a B.A. in Government in 1972, graduating in the top third of his class. He also received his Secondary Education Certification for the Commonwealth of Virginia after graduation At W&M, Lou was elected Class President in his freshman year and in later years served in the Student Senate. A member Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, Mr. Petralia earned Dean’s List his last four semesters in attendance.
After William and Mary, Mr. Petralia relocated to White Plains, where he was a Social Studies teacher at White Plains High School from 1972 to 1981. One of his most prized possession is the hand written Certificate as WPHS First Annual Teacher of the Year, awarded in 1975. While a full time teacher in White Plains, Mr. Petralia earned a M.A. in Politics from New York University in 1975 and a JD from Brooklyn Law School in 1980, the year he was admitted to practice before New York State Courts as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts.
Upon admission to the New York Bar, Mr. Petralia worked as an associate in a small White Plains firm before becoming General Counsel of Sloans Supermarkets of NYC in 1984, where he gained extensive commercial real estate and business experience, while continuing to cultivate his private practice. In 1986, Mr. Petralia left Sloans to work as as a Real Estate Attorney for Avis Rent a Car in Garden City, NY. At Avis, Mr. Petralia was assigned to the Avis Lube project. He spent most of his time locating and negotiating site leases in New York and in other areas of the Country. In 1987, Mr. Petralia decided to devote full time practice to service of his own clients. He has conducted this private practice in White Plains continuously since then.
At the same time he was developing his legal skills, Mr. Petralia continued teaching Law and Real Estate. In 1988 he became a member of the faculty of the Westchester County Board of Realtors, where he still teaches legal issues in the Salespersons and Broker licensing classes as well as selected topics as part of the WCBR’s continuing education program. He also often makes private presentations to local real estate offices. In 2007 he made the keynote presentation on “Short Sales” at the annual WCBR meeting. He briefly taught in the paralegal program at Manhattanville College and for several years in the 1980's and 1990's he was an adjunct professor Real Estate at Westchester Community College.
Mr. Petralia often appears as speaker in Continuing Legal Education Programs offered by local title agencies and Pace University School of Law. See "News" section of this site.
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