Lead Attorney Experience

LOSA Lead counsel Stephanie A. Adams (then Stephanie A. Cole) was born in Utica, NY, graduated from Hampshire College in 1996, and from SUNY Buffalo School of Law in 1999.  In law school, her nickname was "Cole."

Cole first worked as an associate in the Lockport office of Dan Seaman, Morgan Jones, and F. Gerard "Gerry" Hogan.  It was in that office where she started her extensive experience with municipal matters, including Town Law, Public Authorities law, and Canal Law (a bit of a focal point in old canal towns).  

From there, Cole started her own practice in Buffalo, eventually partnering with Daniel D. Shonn and Eric A. Bloom to form Bloom, Cole & Shonn, LLP.  From 2002 through 2006, her practice focused on education and internet law, and she handled cases ranging from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) domain name cases, to alleged violation of federal wiretap laws.  

While at Bloom, Cole & Shonn, LLP, Cole helped staff the legal office at SUNY Buffalo's Group Legal Services, starting a path of service to educators and students that has continued to this day.  She also continued to work on construction, municipal and real property issues, and chaired the Erie County Bar Association's Intellectual property committee.

In 2006, Cole left her small partnership to become the full-time General Counsel at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY, a position she held for over ten years.  Serving as GC to Niagara required experience in education, real property, municipal, labor & employment, intellectual property, education, and not-for-profit law...as well as creativity and commitment to the university's educational and public service mission.  

The University's proximity to the New York Power Authority also created unique challenges and opportunities; the Authority was re-licensed during her time there, and the University collaborated with the Authority on new roads, landscaping, a shared bike path, and a large wall and berm.

Also during her time at NU, Cole designed a system of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), databases for grant, contract and event management, and other legal/operational workflow solutions. Her system for ERM was purchased for development and is commercially available.  Now one of the services offered by the Office is the assessment, ranking, and tracking of enterprise-level risk.  She frequently speaks on ERM (here, for example) and other business solutions for higher ed and not-for-profits.

In her almost two decades of practice, Cole has presented at numerous Continuing Legal Education sessions, on topics ranging from road law (more interesting than it sounds!), LLC formation, social networking, internet law, intellectual property, the role of the general counsel, concussions in sports, and managing complex investigations.  She is also trained in media relations and in crisis response using the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

A former library employee and passionate speaker on library-related issues, examples of Cole's writing on intellectual property and operational issues can be seen on the Western New York Library Council's "Ask the Lawyer" page.

Through all her time as an attorney, Cole made her home in--and committed her public service time largely to--Buffalo.  She has served on the board and as pro bono counsel to the Western New York Arts Services Initiative. She volunteered on historic preservation and civic issues, including representing the Allentown Association on the "Granite Works" preservation in 2002.  A devotee of the notion that communities are strengthened through good design, she helps run events with the Buffalo-centric Facebook group, Design Block. She purchased a home in Buffalo and in her at-home time, works with her husband on their gardens.  She also maintains her connections in her hometown in the Mohawk Valley, near Utica.

In 2017, Cole brought her professional home base back to Buffalo, opening a small space in a new building on Grant Street.  She is delighted to be practicing law in Buffalo again, and to offer some services in the Mohawk Valley. As your attorney, will be a thorough researcher, thoughtful collaborator, and tireless advocate on your behalf.

Stephanie A. Adams, Esq. (Nickname: Cole) is admitted to practice in the state of New York, the Western District of New York (federal; bankrupcy), and the Northern District of New York (federal). 


this time. this place.

My office is in Buffalo, on the West Side, in a very dynamic area: Grant Street. During a walk down Grant, you will hear numerous languages, see people from all over the world, and behold a very special version of the USA. It is a place of dreams and hope...but also of poverty and sometimes harsh reality.

As I grow my business, I commit to hiring both long-term residents, and America's newest arrivals, as office staff. As the area abates its lead paint and fixes its beautiful buildings, I want my neighbors to stay.

I like this picture, taken on Grant, because it looks cool. My buddy Drew is in the picture because I can't just put a bunch of random "Grant Street folks" on my web site; it would be tricky under the ethics rules for attorney advertising, and it would feel exploitive, even with permission. But check out Grant yourself! From the African Market next to my office to the cool bar across the street, to the West Side Bazaar at the foot of Grant (near my house), this place has it all. --Cole