George Pataki ’70
George E. Pataki served as the governor of New York from 1995 through 2006. He is now counsel at the international law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York, where he practices environmental and corporate law and spearheads the firm’s climate change practice.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My father, who taught me the value of honest hard work and respect for all people.
How do you define success?
To me, success means that you have done all you can to help leave the world a bit better place than you found it.
Why did you go to Law School?
I was interested in government and politics, and I felt that understanding the law would be an important part of being able to effectively influence government and the political world.
Who is your favorite lawyer of all time (real or fictional)?
Benjamin Hersh, a small-town general practice attorney from my hometown of Peekskill, N.Y. He helped a lot of working-class families understand the complex legal world, and while he made plenty of money as a lawyer, he also did a great deal for people simply on a handshake and out of kindness.
Finish this sentence: You wouldn’t catch me dead without . . .
One thing you absolutely must do before you die?
I would like to travel to Kazakhstan and central Asia, an area that always intrigued me.
Thing for which you are most thankful?
My family and friends.