What the Capital Region Means to Us – Wallace Turner Law

Ask a table full of Albany-area residents what the Capital Region means to them, and you’ll likely get a variety of different answers.

Some will recount upbringings in Hudson Park, Mont Pleasant or Westmere, and recall all the memories they shared in that community. Others will note how the region’s Black history and culture taught them about the past and inspired pursuit of greater achievements to transform the future. And I’m sure there would be more than one person who’d talk about finding their voice through Albany’s rich art scene—and a memorable show or two at The Egg. 

For me and Ray, it’s not that simple. Sure, we have a same affinity for the Capital Region as so many others. We’re rooted here, went to college here, and continue to deepen our connection with the region in so many exciting ways, every day.   

But for us, our connection to Albany starts with our families. 

They saw opportunity in this section of the state, so they moved here, settled, and became vital parts of their communities as entrepreneurs in the restaurant business. Ray’s family came from the East New York section of Brooklyn. Mine moved to the area from Kingston, Jamaica and opened Clayton’s Caribbean-American Cuisine near Albany’s Washington Park in1996. Through them, we not only learned how to be an active part of our community—we learned how to contribute with an entrepreneurial determination.  

Starting Wallace Turner Law was our way of doing that at the highest level. We teamed our expertise to have an impact on those in need of legal representation throughout the Capital Region, and especially in the places we now call home: Albany for me and Schenectady for Ray. Our new offices at 134 Central Avenue in Albany—former home to one of the Capital Region’s most prominent Black civil rights lawyers, Peter Pryor—solidifies this commitment to the place that means so much to us both as people and professionals. 

But what the region means to us now goes back to that potential our families first saw here not so long ago. It was a place of opportunity, and it still is—more than ever.  

This is where the gears of New York State’s progressive government turn. It’s a hub for historical architecture, higher education, and nano technology firms alike, and with national housing costs rising, it’s a place becoming much more desirable for telecommuters in higher-priced cities like NYC. Here, you can buy an affordable home and still have plenty left over for a Memphis Scramble inside Albany’s Iron Gate Café, an afternoon Duck Steamer from Professor Java’s, and a ribeye steak dinner at The Hollow.        

The possibilities are plentiful. However, the opportunity that means the most to us is the chance to engage and serve the communities that have embraced us since we’ve arrived. We established our practice areas of business and real estate to help members of these communities start their own businesses or sign off on that home of their dreams, in neighborhoods that mean something to them. And one by one, we’re enabling these individuals to contribute to the region’s economic and social vitality, all while our own roots grow deeper and deeper.   

Not everyone has the chance to have a direct effect on peoples’ lives, but the Capital Region has afforded us this opportunity—just as it did for our families before us. It’s why we love it here, are energized to make it an even better place, and will be proud to call this section of New York the home of Wallace Turner Law for years to come.