Anthony Crowell

Dean Crowell Shares Lessons From His Career in New York Law Journal

Anthony Crowell

The New York Law Journal recently published an extensive conversation with New York Law School (NYLS) Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. Interviewed by NYLS alumnus Steve Cohen ’13, Partner at Pollock Cohen, Dean Crowell reflected on the lessons learned along his career path, and what he hopes to impart to current and future generations of students.

Dean Crowell discussed how he decided to go to law school, eventually attending a part-time Evening Division program while working full-time in Washington, D.C. He traced his journey from working as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department to his appointment as Counselor to Mayor Bloomberg and ultimately as Dean and President at NYLS. During this in-depth discussion, he shared many of the lessons he learned along the way and the challenges he encountered, from being a first-generation law student to navigating his career path once he joined New York City government.

Here are a few observations and advice Dean Crowell shared in the piece:

“When you’re exercising authority as a lawyer, you have to ensure that the representation and advice you’re giving somebody is the very best. But you can’t make up someone else’s facts or feelings. You have to listen to them and get into their head and heart to really understand who they are, what they really want, but also to learn what they need or are willing to accept.”

“Being a lawyer is about a life in service to others. Being low maintenance means it’s about someone else’s needs first, about giving far more than you take, working towards the promise of a just result, not the promise of how good you as a lawyer can look in the process. That’s the soul-satisfying part of the job. It’s a wonderful thing to have contributed to making one person’s life—or 8.5 million people’s lives—better, different, more prosperous or hopeful.”

“In the end, perhaps the best reminder for law students and lawyers is to never show more ambition than good judgment.”

You can read more of his lessons and advice in the full article.