Photo by Stefan Radtke
Anita and Larry Delgado met in 1978, when Larry was an administrator at The Mount Sinai Hospital and Anita worked there as a temp. They both lived in Queens, so Larry set up an employee carpool so he could drive with her every day.
They married in 1984, both entered law school, and, in 1992, launched Delgado & Delgado in White Plains. Today, the Delgados drive 10 minutes from their White Plains home to their office. “We’re very fuel-efficient and eco-friendly,” he says.
The law firm, which started as an immigration and real estate law firm, today concentrates on immigration cases. “You go where the demand is,” Larry, 61, says.
Their office employs one staff associate and five paralegals. Still, he says, “In a small firm like this, coverage is always an issue, especially because we vacation together.” When there is a coverage issue, he says, “we’ll say, ‘You’ll meet with my husband,’ or ‘You’ll meet with my wife; she’s a lawyer, too,’ and the theory goes, if that person is good enough to be your spouse, they must be a good lawyer, too.”
“Running a small business is very tough—and getting tougher,” Larry admits. But it helps that all the money is going into the same pot. “Lots of professional partnerships end unhappily because of questions of where all the money goes, and who’s bringing in the most money,” he says. “When it’s a family member, you know where it all goes: to pay your bills and your mortgage, et cetera.”
Working together, the Delgados agree, adds to teamwork at home; they take turns cooking, cleaning, and caring for Larry’s 95-year-old aunt and Anita’s 85-year-old mother, both of whom live with them. “We don’t have a situation where the husband comes home and says, ‘Honey, I had a rough day today,’ because she had a rough day, too,” Larry says. “How could it be equal in the businessand not in the marriage?”
Their 38-year-old son, Jason, is a personal trainer. “He wants nothing to do with the family business,” Anita, 58, says. “He sees the long hours.”