Michael Pastor Is a Seasoned In-House Counsel Leader and the Former Lead Technology Counsel for New York City
New York, NY (June 16, 2021) – New York Law School (NYLS) Dean Anthony W. Crowell today announced the appointment of Michael J. Pastor as the Inaugural Director of the James Tricarico Jr. Institute for the Business of Law and In-House Counsel.
NYLS established the Tricarico Institute in February 2021 through a generous lead gift by distinguished alumnus and Trustee James A. Tricarico Jr. ’77, who retired as Principal and Chief Legal Officer of Edward Jones. Michael Pastor, who recently served as lead technology counsel for New York City, will spearhead the Institute’s best-in-class business, legal, and technology skills training programs for current and aspiring in-house counsel, with a focus on expanding diversity in the profession.
“Michael Pastor will be an invaluable asset to our students and to the wider in-house legal community,” said Anthony W. Crowell, NYLS Dean and President. “He brings exceptional experience as a top lawyer through two Mayoral administrations. He understands how lawyers today must possess sophisticated management and business acumen to meet the needs of their employers, and he has been deeply engaged in how technology is reshaping our profession. He has taught innovative law courses at three law schools, and has mentored countless law students and junior attorneys.”
“The Tricarico Institute will provide enormous benefit to students through the great opportunity it offers to reshape American legal education,” said William P. LaPiana, NYLS Academic Dean. “Michael Pastor’s energy and enthusiasm will inspire and guide students and practicing attorneys to ensure they have a greater understanding of, and firmer footing to navigate, the challenges presented to in-house counsel by today’s complex world.”
“I am immensely honored and excited to lead the Tricarico Institute,” said Michael Pastor. “I have seen up close the transformation of the role of in-house counsel, and I know the importance of preparing law students and practicing lawyers to meet the new challenges of our profession. I am especially eager to develop programs to ensure broad and diverse representation in in-house roles. I am grateful to New York Law School for entrusting me with this responsibility.”
Michael Pastor most recently served as General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and Franchises for the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT) and as the first General Counsel for New York City Cyber Command. He has held several other executive and legal roles in New York City government, including First Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator, and Senior Counsel in the New York City Law Department. He began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Alexander Williams in the District of Maryland, and was an associate at one of the nation’s largest and most prominent firms, Morrison & Foerster LLP. He is currently an Adjunct Professor and Senior Legal Fellow at NYLS and a member of the Board of Directors at Start Small Think Big, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on supporting small businesses founded and run by low-income individuals He earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from Yale University. He is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.
“I am very pleased that Michael Pastor will be the Inaugural Director of the Tricarico Institute,” said James A. Tricarico Jr. ’77. “From the outset, it was clear that Michael shares my vision on the future of the legal profession. He has been part of the transformation of the in-house counsel role, and he has the experience in law, business, management, and technology to make our program a national model. Under his leadership, the Tricarico Institute has an exciting and impactful future.”
Professor Pastor will lead these and other projects for the Tricarico Institute:
- A “Mini M.B.A.” intensive, which has already begun, for practicing lawyers and students that includes substantive business topics, professional development seminars, and networking events.
- A Tech Incubator and Startups Clinic in which students will develop technology solutions and software applications for corporate counsel and law firms and provide legal assistance to tech startups, under expert guidance.
- A Tricarico Scholars program, offering students paid opportunities to assist nonprofits and startup organizations in the Institute’s specialty areas.
- Engagement with industry leaders through the appointment of an experienced Board of Advisors.
- A specialized curricular pathway, beginning with a new gateway course that debuted in Spring 2021, Legaltech, Legal Operations, and the Future of Practice, and a new course Professor Pastor will teach in Fall 2021, Technology Law and Government Administration.
- Programming to increase racial diversity in the field by engaging corporate counsel professionals from underrepresented groups as student mentors and thought leaders. Professor Pastor will also serve as an advisor and mentor to the School’s pre-law pipeline programs.
The Tricarico Institute is housed within NYLS’s Center for Business and Financial Law, and its work will be aligned with the School’s other successful business law initiatives. The Institute will also collaborate with NYLS’s Innovation Center for Law and Technology, including on the Tech Incubator and Startups Clinic.
“I am excited to work with Michael Pastor,” said Professor Howard Meyers, Director of the Center for Business and Financial Law. “His executive management experience and his understanding of the legal marketplace make him an invaluable partner and colleague for the Center for Business and Financial Law.”
“Michael Pastor has led on many of the issues front and center for today’s ‘in-house counsel,’ including cybersecurity, data governance, and privacy,” said Professor Houman Shadab, Director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology. “He will ensure that our students are prepared to be ‘product counsel’ who are equipped to provide strategic and legal guidance to developers and corporate innovators.”
The Tricarico Institute is a signature initiative of NYLS’s 2020 Strategic Plan: Ever Upward. It fulfills key commitments made in the Plan, including broadening experiential learning opportunities and curricular pathways, establishing student scholar programs, and growing each academic center’s network of successful practitioners.