About Tal Rappleyea
As a municipal lawyer, Tal Rappleyea gets asked this question all the time: What is a municipality?
A municipality is actually just a technical term for a county or city. Although municipalities are mainly responsible for creating their laws, they hire municipal lawyers that are responsible for enforcing those laws. Tal Rappleyea covers the following municipal law issues to reflect the needs of area residents:
- Education policies, which governs the safety and standards of education in public schools, accommodating students with disabilities, and job security for teachers.
- Property taxes, which outlines how taxed income from residents can be used to benefit the community.
- Police power, which oversees how police officers monitor resident behavior.
- Zoning, which determines how land in the municipality is used.
Some municipal lawyers work internally for one municipality, while others practice law individually for multiple municipalities. Tal practices law individually in his own private practice and serves several counties in the Albany metro area in New York state.
Tal Rappleyea was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in January 1989. This chapter of the bar association is actually the largest voluntary state bar organization in the nation with a membership of more than 74,000 lawyers. Tal is proud to be a member, considering former presidents Grover Cleveland and Chester A. Arthur were members of the New York State chapter as well.
With nearly three decades of experience and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline State University, Tal Rappleyea has explored municipal law in several roles as an attorney, ranging from positions as Attorney for the Town and Attorney for the Village of several municipalities. Currently, Tal is a solo practitioner in his own Law Offices of Tal G. Rappleyea in Valatie, New York and lists municipal law as one of his main concentrations.
Tal is a supporter the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM), which is an organization that trains municipal officials and operates as a general support group for municipal officials in each state. He is also very active in his community, as he is a member of the Capital District Trial Lawyers Association and holds a position in the County Bar Association of New York State.
Although Tal Rappleyea maintains an active lifestyle by volunteering in his community and maintaining memberships in his field of practice, he still makes time for one of his pastimes, golf, by on the range.
- “Deal of the Year” Award from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
- Named one of the three new inductees to the Ethics Committee of REBNY
- Named to the Executive Board of New York Residential Specialists (NYRS).
Are you considering a career in municipal law and wondering if it’s the right path for you? Working in municipal law could mean working in the local government or as a city lawyer. Here are some ways to know if you might be cut out for this line of work:
You like to be involved in your community.
If you are someone who is always out and about in your community, you’ll probably love working in municipal law. Working for your local government means that you won’t sit on the sidelines when it comes to issues in your community. You’ll be right in the heart of the action.
If you were the type of person to run for class president or volunteer to help with school projects, you’re likely to be a natural when it comes to working for the local government.
You care about people and want to make a difference.
When you work in municipal law, you have the unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of your neighbors. You should have a heart for people and want to do what’s best for them. Your work will directly affect the people in your town. If you genuinely care about people, you’ll go to work every day and set out to improve the lives of those in your community.
If you work in local government, you’ll also meet people you would likely never have come across in another line of work. You’ll meet business owners and concerned citizens from all walks of life. If the idea of meeting new people and helping your community sounds good to you, a career in municipal law might be a perfect fit.
You embrace challenges.
As a city lawyer or a local government worker, you’ll periodically face challenges that seem impossible. For example, you might need to get a contract in place in two months when the usual process takes six months. So, what do you do? You embrace the challenge and work to find a solution, even if that means scouring every procurement rule ever written.
Problems are part of any job. But if you are someone who enjoys coming up with creative solutions and doesn’t shy away from difficulty, working in municipal law will be much more enjoyable.
So, to recap, if you’re someone who cares about people, wants to make a difference in your community, and isn’t afraid of a challenge, a career in municipal law might be right for you! Why not get started today?