This article is the first in a series in which we revisit businesses that have served the local community for many years and that have used the Baltimore Guide to successfully promote their business.
In business for 35 years, and advertising with the Baltimore Guide for three decades, Highlandtown attorney Dennis Cuomo currently works about 65 hours per week.
“I’ve cut back,” says Cuomo.
He graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School, passed the bar, and began his law career as a prosecutor. At the same time, he worked at his part-time practice in this uncle Tony’s tax office on the 3900 block of E. Pratt St. He purchased his current building, at 323 and 325 S. Conkling St., in the 1980s.
Cuomo and his parents are Highlandtown natives, though they moved to northeast Baltimore during his childhood.
“I was always down here [in Highlandtown], three to four times a week,” says Cuomo. “My grandparents and an aunt and uncle lived here.”
During his long association with the neighborhood, he has seen it change.
“When I was younger, it was very much an Italian, German, Polish, and Irish neighborhood,” Cuomo says. “Over the years, it has changed to where it’s a large Latino population now.”
Some things have stayed the same.
“It’s still a close-knit community,” he says. “People here support local businesses, restaurants, bars (naturally), and professional offices, myself included.”
Although he enjoys many Highlandtown establishments, Cuomo notes that Di Pasquale’s and Samos are a couple of his favorites.
He has known the Di Pasquale family his whole life, and he says that the owner of Samos is “probably the only guy who works more hours than I do.”
Cuomo’s parents, Phil and Ann, both in their mid-90s, come to Highlandtown a few times a month.“My mom gets her hair done at Phyllis Hair Design,” says Cuomo.
Cuomo and his wife JoAnn, married 35 years this October, have five children—two in the medical field and three in the law field—and three grandchildren. Cuomo’s son, Jason, works with his father at the S. Conkling St. office, handling family law and serious personal injury cases.
Cuomo himself runs a general practice, with a focus on criminal law, serious traffic cases, and family law.
Although his hobby is basically his family, Cuomo enjoys reading about airplanes and history, especially World-War-II-era history.
“It’s when the people here in the U.S. pulled together to accomplish great things,” he says. “I think that’s pretty fascinating.”
Cuomo acknowledges that times are tough for new attorneys fresh out of law school. However, for those who having difficulty getting hired, there is another option.
“If you can’t find a job, take a chance and open your own business,” says Cuomo. “Find a good mentor to help you along the way.”
Cuomo himself has mentored many young attorneys over the years.
“I think it’s an obligation that older members of the bar have to younger members,” he says.
by Erik Zygmont