Questions Presented

Michael A. Cardozo ’66

Michael A. Cardozo ’66 has served as the corporation counsel for New York City since 2002. He oversees the New York City Law Department’s 17 legal divisions and 690 lawyers who are responsible for representing the city, elected officials, and various agencies.

Fall 2013

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Who has been your greatest inspiration?
JFK. Although in hindsight perhaps imperfect, he captured my generation’s hope, energy, and imagination.

How do you define success?
Having a loving family and good friends, and spearheading progress in the workplace, in government, and in society.

Why did you go to law school?
In addition to my name, which seemed to ordain that I would become a lawyer, I was attracted by the opportunity to learn skills that might enable me to solve problems and effect change.

Who is your favorite lawyer of all time?
Cyrus Vance Sr., former secretary of state. As a young attorney, I worked with him when he was president of the New York City Bar Association and chair of a state task force on court reform. I observed firsthand his integrity, courage, leadership, and consensus-building abilities. He inspired me to seek to improve society in both the public and private sectors.

Finish this sentence: You wouldn’t catch me dead without . . . My BlackBerry.

One thing you absolutely must do before you die?
Fulfill my childhood dream of playing shortstop for the Yankees.

Thing for which you are most thankful?
My wife, Nancy; my children; my grandchildren; and the satisfaction gained from practicing law, particularly serving as New York City corporation counsel.

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Photographed by Patrick Harbron