Robert Smit

One of the most magnificent homes we have ever covered in Lawyerly Lairs is the Manhattan mansion owned by the late Professor Hans Smit of Columbia Law School. Professors at NYU Law School, Columbia’s downtown rival, enjoy some pretty sweet real estate. But how many of them own a 12,000-square-foot house with its own Wikipedia entry?

Back in 2006, Professor Smit put his mansion on the market for $29 million. In 2007, he raised the price to $30 million. In 2008 — before the collapse of Lehman and the financial meltdown — he turned down a $20 million offer.

After being on and off the market for the past seven years, the house finally sold. For how much?

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One year ago, we wrote about how Columbia law professor Hans Smit was trying to unload his 12,000 square foot home — the only freestanding single-family mansion in Manhattan — for a cool $29 million.

One year later, the good professor’s home is still on the market. Its white-marble-clad facade greeted us when we visited the New York Times homepage this morning (screencap and link to listing below).

The only difference from last year? The asking price, now up to $30 million.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And up your asking price by a million!

(In all seriousness, Professor Smit’s decision to round up to $30 million probably isn’t as crazy as it might seem. Despite the weak real estate market in the rest of the country, the market in New York City — especially at the high end — continues to be strong.)

Hans Smit mansion still for sale Above the Law blog.jpg

Magnificent Mansion [Brown Harris Stevens]

Earlier: Lawyerly Lairs: Professor Smit’s Uptown Mansion

Yesterday we put out a call for submissions for Lawyerly Lairs. We look forward to your responses. In the meantime, here’s some real estate porn that we were able to obtain on our own — since the property in question is for sale.

The Schinasi Mansion is the only freestanding single-family mansion in Manhattan. It dates back to 1909, boasts 12,000 square feet of living space, and sits on swanky Riverside Drive. It is currently on the market for an eye-popping $29,000,000.

Here’s a shot of its French Renaissance, white marble exterior:

hans smit mansion 1.jpg

So who owns this Mother of All Townhouses? A senior partner at a top Biglaw firm — who also married very well? An ex-lawyer who left for the world of finance, to become a managing director at an investment bank or a partner at a successful hedge fund?

hans smit headshot.jpgActually, no. The $29 million mansion is owned by — brace yourselves, people — a legal academic. It’s home to Professor Hans Smit (at right), who teaches civil procedure and international law at Colubmia. Guess those private law school salaries must be pretty good!

Actually, there’s a backstory — and no, Professor Smit didn’t win the $315 million Mega Millions jackpot. Check out the details, as well as more drool-worthy pictures, after the jump.

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