Law firms are built to serve companies, but trust and estates lawyers serve people. That’s why Pam Schneider and two colleagues left Drinker Biddle & Reath in 2001 to start the boutique Gadsden Schneider & Woodward in King of Prussia, Pa.

Schneider’s practice has flourished, but she finds time to influence the policy world. A recognized expert in estate tax law — she was hailed as a leader in the field by that bastion of the moneyed classes, Town & Country — she has published and lectured extensively, and has presided over the American Bar Association section dealing with trusts and estates law.

Schneider teaches at New York University School of Law and serves on the advisory council of the University of Miami Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.