Practicing Law With a Side of Golf

July 17, 2019
Stanford Sanoff; Photo courtesy of Stanford Sanoff

Stanford Sanoff, 93

Stanford (Stan) Sanoff loves a challenge. At the age of 34, after what
he described as a grueling career in sales, he left to attend Southwestern
Law School in Los Angeles and later discovered an interest in contract and employment law. 

That move was the start of his longtime profession, where solving problems and puzzles became a daily task. He still practices law today and plays golf several times a week. “Not well, but I play,” he said. “What else is going to keep us awake?” 

Sanoff lives in a gated community in Palm Desert and belongs to “The Niners,” a group of 175 golfers who play nine holes every week. He also plays nine holes every Monday morning with three men. 

Married for almost 42 years, it was Sanoff’s wife, Bebe, who introduced him to the sport. With five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Bebe, like the clothing brand, he said, “is beautiful inside and out.”

“I play golf several times a week. Not well, but I play. What else is going to keep us awake?”

Born in Newark, N.J., and raised in Manhattan, Sanoff is also a sports fan. He loves watching golf, baseball and football, and his favorite team is the New York Yankees. “In those days,” he said, “my mother used to give me a dollar … [and] with the dollar I … saw some of the greatest baseball.” 

Although Sanoff passed the California bar in 1965, he still recalls his biggest mistake. “I could’ve done a lot more with my education than I did,” he said. With only $200 in his bank account and $25,000 in debt, he took a job offer at a firm instead of at the U.S. Attorney’s office because of the eight-week waiting period to get his security clearance. But, he added, “I’m not unhappy about any move I [ever] made.”

Sanoff began teaching law first at a university in Orange County that later became Pepperdine University, and then at a bar review business he owned called The Writing Method Class. “I absolutely enjoyed teaching more than practicing,” he said. “You could see people come in knowing nothing about the law and developing as would-be lawyers.” However, when he received an offer from his current firm, he said the opportunity was too good to pass up, but he continued teaching as an adjunct professor at Glendale College of Law. 

He tells young people to “maintain integrity, honesty and never intentionally mislead other people.” That’s how he has tried to live his life, and “it has worked for me,” he said.

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