Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Paul J. Buehler III

June 1, 2024

A strong sense of responsibility, perseverance, and adaptability are among the many outstanding attributes that have driven Paul Buehler throughout his life and career.  From a young age, Paul understood the importance of responsibility, self-direction, and rebounding from roadblocks and disappointments.

Growing up in the Albany suburb of Delmar, Paul honed his competitive edge as a state and national triple jump competitor representing his high school track team.  His athleticism led to offers from numerous colleges who were looking at the best triple jumpers in the country.  Paul accepted an offer from Cornell University, determined to complete his degree in three years to save tuition expenses and help support his three sisters, one of whom was also attending college, when the family experienced a significant financial hardship. 

Paul enrolled in the New York State College of Human Ecology, a statutory college at Cornell University, looking for a course of study that could lead to a career in the FBI or as a lawyer. He doubled up on his courses and followed the protocol necessary for FBI consideration. Unexpectedly, Paul suffered an ankle injury during a meet early in his college career.  Initially misdiagnosed, Paul continued to train through his pain, which continued until a year later, when an MRI showed that he had broken his talus, the weight bearing portion of ankle. Surgery to repair the injury followed, but it was a career ending injury. Nevertheless, he remained at Cornell, more determined than ever to earn his degree as soon as possible.

As he honed in on studying law, Paul met with an attorney who had done some legal work for his parents to learn more about the profession. That interview led to a summer job as a law clerk at the three partner firm. His on-the-job training included learning how to use Westlaw, attending client meetings and drafting memos, substantive work for someone of Paul’s experience.  He prepped for the LSATs, while taking night classes over the summer, and working 40-hour weeks at the law firm. 

As he neared his goal of early graduation, Paul began the law school application process. While he dreamed of acceptance at the likes of Boston University or Fordham, he was advised to apply to Albany Law as a “safety school” as private law schools wouldn’t understand the rigor of his coursework and his early graduation from Cornell.  When Albany Law offered Paul a scholarship he eagerly accepted, unwilling to shoulder the debt that would have come with private school tuition and living expenses. 

While in law school, Paul lived with his grandfather and continued working at the law firm.  His earnings helped him purchase textbooks, kept him in coffee and overall supported him through his graduation among the top of his class.

Post law school, Paul joined the corporate transactional group of an Albany-based firm where he conducted due diligence on M&A transactions for private equity firms, working on deals ranging from $1-150 million.  Dissatisfied with the work, he was introduced to the firm’s labor and employment practice by a mentor and was quickly drawn to the people-oriented practice. “It was so interesting and far more lively than what I was doing,” he recalls. “I liked that it was about the messy business of being human.”  

Around this time, Paul heard from the FBI that he hadn’t been accepted into its training program. When his request to change to the labor and employment practice didn’t materialize, it became a defining moment for Paul. He contacted a close law school friend, who encouraged him to interview at Bond’s Albany office. He was invited to start building his labor and employment practice. Five years later, Paul litigates and counsels on a broad variety of labor and employment related matters and in January 2024, was named a member of the firm.    

Paul cherishes the close relationships he maintains with his law school friends, with whom he bonded on day one. He continues to stay in touch and get together occasionally, although distance and now family responsibilities make it a challenge.

He reserves the largest helping of gratitude to his wife, Chelsea, a journalist who supported his hopes and dreams as he studied for the bar, secured his first job, applied for the FBI, and ultimately made member at Bond.

These days the couple, who enjoy hiking around the area and discovering fabulous restaurants, has been busy preparing for and welcoming their first child, a daughter who is expected this summer. You can be sure she will join them on their adventures.