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Leading Change

Attorney Len Garza Sets His Sights on Improving the Lives of People With Special Needs

Len Garza, whose namesake firm focuses on business and real estate law, had an entirely different career before he left his native Texas for the Garden State in 2003.

In addition to legal work, Garza is active on the charity circuit.

He lives in Central New Jersey with his wife, Heather, a colorist for the fashion industry, and his two daughters, 9-year-old Blair and 7-year-old Blake.

Q: What sparked your career change?

A: I was working in the telecommunications industry in Houston, Texas, which is where I was born and raised. Law always held an interest for me, but once I got into the working world, when I was dealing with personal and business contracts, I realized that law touches everything.

Q. Why did you choose to move to New Jersey?

A: My older brother is in Manhattan, and I had a couple of friends in Central New Jersey, so I was looking for a way to get here when I applied to Seton Hall Law School.

Q: After you graduated, you spent a decade working for large law firms before opening your own practice at the end of 2019. What prompted that decision?

A: I wanted to focus on family-owned businesses, which I didn’t get the opportunity to prioritize when I was with the larger firms.

Q: You have served as a volunteer advocacy ambassador for the charity Autism Speaks, which is the largest research organization in the United States devoted to the condition. How did that come about?

A: My daughter, Blake, was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, and that raised it on my radar. I wanted to help spread awareness about autism. With Autism Speaks, that’s what I did, and it included writing letters to local representatives in support of autism initiatives and legislation.

Q: You’re now on the board of trustees of Enable, a nonprofit that provides services, resources and support for adults with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities in Central New Jersey.

A: I had discovered when I was volunteering with Autism Speaks that while there are a number of resources for young special-needs individuals and for families whose children have autism, there is nothing close to those level of resources for adults with autism. It’s a steep decline—like falling off a cliff—after that.

Q: What contribution does Enable make?

A: It sets up and runs group adult homes for people with special needs, which includes autism, so this was a natural progression for me. Also, I like the idea that it’s a local organization; Autism Speaks is national. I wanted to feel I was making a local impact. I wanted to actually see people and families in Central New Jersey benefiting.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working or doing charity work?

A: I spend all my spare time with my family. My daughters have a lot of interests that keep me busy. Blair goes to acting camp on the weekends, and Blake takes gymnastics classes. I’m their chauffeur. We also like traveling; before the pandemic, we used to go to museums in New York City and Philadelphia. We’re looking forward to doing that again soon.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: I want to really grow my law firm and help and serve more family-owned businesses. And I want to practice what I preach: I want to branch out and do more entrepreneurial things such as buying and selling real estate and making investments. And, of course, it goes without saying that I want to increase my charity work toward autism. I’m thinking of starting or giving to a foundation for special-needs communities as a whole.

Learn more about Garza at