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In 1919, Walter Chalaire was the first graduate of New York University School of Law to join Sullivan & Cromwell. In addition to developing an esteemed private practice, Chalaire was heavily involved with community and public service initiatives throughout his career; he served as an officer of a fund established to care for the families of indigent journalists and also served as president and director of the New York University Law Alumni Association. The over 60 NYU Law graduates—including 16 partners—who practice at S&C today carry on this tradition of developing a superior legal practice while maintaining a strong commitment to community.
NYU Law alumni at S&C practice in all four of its main groups—General Practice (corporate), Litigation, Tax, and Estates and Personal—and are based out of six of the Firm’s 13 offices, including London, Paris and New York. While maintaining a generalist approach in their work, these lawyers focus their practices on areas including appellate litigation, bankruptcy, capital markets, criminal defense and investigations, executive compensation, financial services, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, real estate and securities litigation. Nearly 30 percent of NYU Law alumni at S&C have clerked, including at the federal appellate level.
In addition, many NYU Law alumni are actively involved in S&C’s pro bono practice. Recent matters include representation of a class of mentally ill immigration detainees in immigration proceedings, obtaining a favorable settlement on behalf of a client with the New York City Housing Authority, assisting with a report from the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that concluded that New York’s use of solitary confinement for youth constitutes a civil rights violation, obtaining asylum for clients from many different countries and representing a death-row client in federal appeals court. Special counsel Jessica Klein (NYU ’03) heads the Firm’s pro bono practice and also actively represents pro bono clients in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings. S&C’s commitment to pro bono work is longstanding and significant—in 2019, the Firm devoted more than 58,000 hours to a range of pro bono activities.
Many NYU alumni hold significant leadership roles at Sullivan & Cromwell: they serve on committees including the Managing Committee, as well as the Associate Experience, Diversity, Pro Bono and Women’s Initiative Committees. Outside of the Firm, NYU alumni at S&C serve on more than 30 different non-profit boards as trustees, director or officers.
In addition to becoming partners at S&C, NYU Law alumni who join the Firm go on to pursue a range of prestigious opportunities. S&C alumni who attended NYU Law currently work in government (including as a Foreign Service officer and as an assistant attorney general), as counsel to major financial institutions, health care and technology companies (including Amazon), in private practice and as law professors—19 S&C alumni who attended NYU Law now serve on law school faculties, including NYU Lax Tax Professor Laurie Malman.
Today, S&C continues to partner with NYU Law both in and out of the classroom. One S&C lawyer currently serves on the Board of Trustees of NYU Law, and four full-tuition scholarships to NYU Law have been endowed by S&C partners.
In the last five years, we welcomed 48 summer associates from NYU Law. You can learn more about our presence at the law school on these pages. We hope to see you on campus.

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