By Paula Katinas
Editor’s Note: Now that Mother’s Day is here, the Brookyln Eagle is proud to continue profiling the “real” women of Bay Ridge and their accomplishments.
Bay Ridge — Lauren Giannone is not only a real woman of Bay Ridge, she’s a real working woman of Bay Ridge!
She juggles three very important roles, giving each one her utmost devotion: she’s a wife, a mother to a 19-month-old daughter, and a paralegal at the Manhattan law firm Moses & Singer LLP, where she specializes in real estate law.
She has always juggled various jobs.
Giannone, who was born and raised in Bay Ridge, has been working since the age of 17. Her name back then was Lauren Quaglione. She married her husband Mike Giannone six years ago.
After graduating from Adelphi Academy, she was preparing to enter Long Island University when she got a summer job as a receptionist at a small law firm specializing in matrimonial law in Manhattan. She took the job to earn money to pay for textbooks.
“It was the summer before college. My parents were paying for school, but I was responsible for my books,” she recalled.
While most young people her age were getting a tan at the beach, Lauren was busy working for a matrimonial lawyer.
But Lauren wanted more out of life than just a tan. Her parents inspired her.
“My parents were so wonderful to us. They had such a great work ethic. I wanted to follow their example,” Lauren said.
When the fall came and she started her college courses at LIU’s Downtown Brooklyn campus, Lauren continued to work for the attorney.
“I took the train back and forth. I was going to school in Downtown Brooklyn and the law office was in Downtown Manhattan. It was only three stops on the R train,” she said.
Her classes often began at 7 a.m. and she often worked late nights at the law firm.
“It was long hours, but I loved it!” she said.
Her work ethic impressed the attorney so much that the lawyer asked her to stay. She worked for that lawyer all through college.
As if juggling a full load of college courses and working for a lawyer wasn’t enough, Lauren also worked part-time for District Council 37 (DC 37), the union representing city workers in New York.
While the hard-working, ambitious Lauren Quaglione impressed her employers, Lauren herself was impressed by the inner workings of the law.
“I had planned to be a pharmacy major. But I found that I didn’t enjoy pharmacy school. So, I changed my major to history because I knew I wanted to go into law. I changed my major pretty late too; I was more than halfway through college,” Lauren said. “But even with all the changes, I still graduated from college on time. If you have to get things done, you just get them done. Sometimes, you hear people say, ‘I need a lucky break.’ I always want to ask them, ‘What do you expect is going to happen?’ You make things happen for yourself.”
She graduated from LIU with a bachelor’s degree in history. DC 37 hired her as a paralegal. She worked with the lawyers and with the DC 37 members on all sorts of areas, including real estate transactions, wills and bankruptcies.
“I was exposed to an assortment of areas of the law,” Lauren recalled.
She earned promotions through hard work and a willingness to go the extra mile.
“I was eager to learn. My attitude was ‘Show me how to do it. Help me understand it better,’” she said.
Her advice for people on how to get ahead in the workplace?
“Show a willingness to learn. And you have to have drive. Don’t sit back and expect the world to give it to you. Don’t make excuses. Just do it!” she said.
While at DC 37, Lauren found that she loved real estate law.
“It became my passion. I wanted to know everything about it,” she said.
Lauren went back to school to earn her real estate license at Brooklyn College.
In 2004, she left D 37 and joined Moses & Singer. Real estate law remains her passion.
“I love helping people. When they’re buying a home, they’re nervous. This is the biggest amount of money they’ve ever spent in their lives. It’s nice to be able to help them through the process. There are so many aspects to a real estate closing that need your attention and it could be tense. But, overall, it’s a happy time for people,” Lauren said.
Lauren Quaglione met her husband Mike Giannone when she was 22 years old and he was 21. A friend of Lauren’s from college fixed them up.
“We dated for seven years before we got married,” she said.
The couple was married at Saint Anselm Catholic Church.
“We’ve been married for six years. My husband is wonderful,” Lauren said.
The couple purchased a co-op on Shore Road. The closing took place a month before the wedding.
In September 2010, the Giannones welcomed a daughter, Sophia.
“She’s my little pal,” Lauren said.
As she did when she was 17 years old, Lauren still works hard to juggle her various responsibilities.
“It isn’t easy. Thank God for online shopping! That certainly makes life easier,” she said.
While she’s at work, her parents or her in-laws babysit little Sophia. And Mike, who works for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, is a terrific, hands-on dad, Lauren said.
“He gets home from work earlier than I do and gets to spend time with her,” Lauren said.
“When I get home from work, my focus shifts. The second I walk in the door, it’s all about her. I get home around 6:30 and we put her to bed around 8:30. That means I have a two-hour window to spend quality time with her,” Lauren said.
Lauren also takes Sophia with her on errands in Bay Ridge.
“I never leave her home,” she said. “It’s a struggle to raise a child and hold a job. But you just do it.”