Our Attorneys

William J. Gerken

William J. Gerken is an associate with the Law Office of J. Michael Hayes. He began his career with the firm as a law clerk while attending the University at Buffalo School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. Mr. Gerken focuses his practice on personal injury law, including the Child Victims Act cases, sexual abuse and harassment, motor vehicle accidents, dog bite cases and medical malpractice. Additionally, Mr. Gerken has experience working in insurance law, labor law, mediation, and civil litigation.

Prior to joining the firm and while in law school, Mr. Gerken was a law clerk at Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., where he studied insurance coverage under one of the nation’s foremost experts. Mr. Gerken also participated in an externship with the State Counsel’s Office for the New York State Attorney General and held a position as a clerk for Hon. Lisa Bloch Rodwin at New York State Family Court working on child abuse and neglect cases. Mr. Gerken worked at the law school as a Fellow for the Access to Justice program hosted by the Clinical Legal Education Department. He also received a Practice Order from the New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Department to practice law while in law school under the supervision of an attorney.

While in law school, Mr. Gerken competed in an international mediation and negotiation competition hosted by the International Bar Association in Vienna, Austria. His success at this competition was the result of extensive training in interest-based mediation methods and his participation in the law school’s Mediation Clinic.

Mr. Gerken is a proud resident of the Buffalo area, where he attended high school at Williamsville South. Mr. Gerken graduated cum laude from Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned degrees in Journalism and Political Science. While attending RIT, he studied American Sign Language and was actively involved in the Deaf community. After graduating from RIT, Mr. Gerken worked in the news industry as an assignment editor for a Rochester television station. Mr. Gerken returned to the Buffalo area to study law, remain close to his family and resume living in the “City of Good Neighbors”.

Mr. Gerken is passionate about playing an active role in volunteering for the Buffalo community. Currently, he volunteers with Crisis Services as a Rape Crisis Counselor and Advocate and is a member of the Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce. He has volunteered as a mentor to disadvantaged youth in the area with Compeer, Inc. In 2016, he donated a kidney to a local Buffalo resident.

Mr. Gerken is a member of the Inns of Court, Western New York Trial Lawyers Association, Erie County Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Mr. Gerken is admitted to practice in all New York courts, the United States District Court for the Western District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.