Stephen Louis, Distinguished Fellow and Counsel, Center for New York City Law

New York Law School Appoints Stephen Louis as Distinguished Fellow and Counsel to the Center for New York City Law

Stephen Louis, Distinguished Fellow and Counsel, Center for New York City Law

Stephen Louis, a leading expert in State and Local Government Law, and a Trusted Counsel to five New York City Mayoral Administrations, will help the Center for New York City Law meet the changing needs of today’s government lawyers and leaders and students entering public service.

New York, NY (December 5, 2023) – New York Law School (NYLS) Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell and Professor Ross Sandler, Founder and Director of the Center for New York City Law, announced the appointment of Stephen Louis, as Distinguished Fellow in State and Local Government Law and Counsel to the Center for New York City Law.

Founded in 1995 by Professor Sandler, the Center has made New York City’s policy and lawmaking processes and outcomes more comprehensible and accessible to the public. The Center pursues its mission through scholarly research and writing, and other thought leadership, by widely disseminating information and analyses about New York City, including through publications CityLaw and CityLand, the podcast Max Politics, and through the widely attended CityLaw Breakfast series for New York’s civic and policymaking community, featuring high profile elected officials and policymakers. 

The Center is embarking on transformative efforts to expand its programming, including greater coverage of state issues as they impact New York City, as was most recently seen with the Center’s appointment of veteran journalist Ben Max as Executive Editor and Program Director. The Center is also home to the New York Census and Redistricting Institute, directed by Senior Fellow and Distinguished Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Wice. These efforts will serve the changing needs of New York’s civic and legal communities. 

“Steve Louis is a municipal mastermind. He has been an indispensable legal advisor to countless City government leaders, including five Mayors and  ten Corporation Counsels, making our government more effective and equitable. What happens in New York matters everywhere, and it’s fair to say that almost every major decision of City government in the past three decades has benefitted from Steve’s deep understanding of the law and commitment to preserving City government as an enduring institution. As a result, every New Yorker, has benefited from his wisdom and discipline, as have many cities and states far beyond our borders,” said Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. “At NYLS, Steve will utilize his unmatched experience to offer critical perspectives, develop programs to train the next generation of public service lawyers and leaders, and continue to be an invaluable resource and partner to government lawyers, policymakers, and the larger civic community.”

Stephen Louis has been a distinguished member of the NYLS adjunct faculty since 2013, co-teaching State and Local Government Law, and serving as a valuable and dedicated mentor to countless students and alumni over the years. In his expanded role, he will engage in high-level thought leadership on public sector legal matters and further NYLS’s reach in questions of both New York City and New York State government. He will provide leadership and spearhead new projects, programs, and contribute to the design and writing of publications to position New York Law School as the go-to destination in New York State, and nationally, for law students aspiring to public service careers as well as public sector lawyers in need of practical resources and continuing legal education (CLE).

Stephen will be a key ambassador to agencies and officials to develop new partnerships within the New York City and State and federal public sectors as well as with local, state, and national associations of government attorneys. He will be a key leader in the School’s Law and Leadership Institute, building out programs such as the General Counsel Forum. In addition to co-teaching State and Local Government Law, Stephen will be engaged with students in the Law School’s Legal Journalism course, which reports on government actions, as well as the recently launched Gotham Honors and Washington Honors Externship Programs. He will also serve as an ongoing resource to students, counseling them in their academic course selection, and with placement in public sector internships and full-time post-graduate positions.

“I am excited to take on this new position and am looking forward to my expanded role with the talented and committed faculty and staff at New York Law School,” said Stephen Louis, “It is tremendously important for law students to make critical connections and receive reliable guidance as they plan their legal careers in the public sector. It’s also critical for lawyers already in public service to have trusted and innovative scholarship, thought leadership, and programming to turn to as they tackle those challenges that are an inevitable consequence of the great changes taking place in our nation, state, and city. I am honored to play a part in ensuring that the Center for New York City Law will remain a steady voice and advocate for those in public service in the years to come.” 

Stephen Louis retired in November from the New York City Law Department after a nearly four-decade career of exceptional public service. During his time in City service, he advised five Mayors, ten Corporation Counsels, as well as countless elected and appointed officials and their offices, including Comptrollers, Public Advocates, Borough Presidents, Council Speakers and Council Members, Police Commissioners, Budget Directors and Commissioners of every City agency. He was an anchor for general counsels and other agency attorneys citywide.  He most recently served on the Department’s senior executive team as Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Legal Counsel, and was Chief of the Legal Counsel Division, the analog the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, for the past 26 years. Throughout his career, he managed the highest level matters and managed attorneys whose work directly impacted the activities of New York City and State agencies and legislative bodies, as well as Congress and federal agencies.

“The appointment of Steve Louis as a Distinguished Fellow and Counsel at New York Law School is representative of the superb investment they are making in students and the future of New York City,” said New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix.  “For nearly forty years, Steve dedicated his career to the principles of justice and furthering the public good, through his work with the New York City Law Department. In this new role, he will continue to be instrumental in shaping the next generation of legal minds in our City.”

Stephen’s NYLS roots are deep. His late father, Arthur Louis, was a 1963 graduate of NYLS’s part-time Evening Division (now known as “NYLS Pro”). Like many NYLS Evening Division graduates, he attended NYLS while working as a New York City public servant.

Raised in Brooklyn and Queens, and now a resident of Manhattan, Stephen holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and A.B., cum laude, from Columbia College. He has served on the Board of Directors of the County Attorneys’ Association of the State of New York, including a term as President. He previously served as an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.