FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Lesley Friedman Rosenthal

Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts Inc.
Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
New York, NY, USA


LESLEY ROSENTHAL is VP, General Counsel & Secretary of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.  Since 2005 she has fashioned the legal context for the arts center’s world-class cultural and educational offerings, its entrepreneurial initiatives in media, fashion, and consulting, and the recently completed $1.2B redevelopment of its iconic physical complex.  Rosenthal provides leadership and strategy for the organization’s legal affairs, plans and directs compliance matters, and works closely with the rest of the senior management team to ensure the organization’s forward momentum.  She also counsels and supports a 75-member board on governance matters. Together with the CEO and key trustees, Rosenthal has developed the Lincoln Center Counsels’ Council, a new method for procurement of pro bono legal services by nonprofits. 

Rosenthal is the author of Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) (http://amzn.to/zmvcHU) (“5 stars – a goldmine” – About.com; “Must read” – NY Law Journal).  Good Counsel has ranked #1 on Amazon’s bestseller lists for both corporate law and nonprofit management.  It was nominated for the 2012 Terry McAdam Book Award by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. 

Her other publications include “Mobilizing Legal Forces for the Good,” Stanford Social Innovation Review; “How to Land a Dream Job,” American Lawyer; “Nonprofit Governance: The Board’s Role,” Harvard Corp. Gov. Forum; “Nonprofits Have Big Role in State,” Crains; “Building on Progress is Key to the Arts,” Newsday; “Redeveloping Corporate Governance Structures:  Not-for-Profit Governance During Major Capital Projects,” 76 Ford. L. Rev. 929; and “How Not to Govern:  Lessons from the Report to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution,” N.Y.B.J.

Rosenthal moderates and keynotes conferences on law, management, nonprofits and cultural policy.  She teaches and guest lectures regularly at leading law schools including Harvard, Yale and Columbia.  She is pioneering a new practical course at Georgetown and University of Miami law schools on the role of in-house counsel at a nonprofit.

Rosenthal chairs Charity Corps: Lawyers Helping Nonprofits, a joint initiative of the New York State Bar Association and the State Attorney General’s Office Charities Bureau to encourage more pro bono legal services to charities.  She also serves on the governing bodies and the Audit Committees of the New York State Bar Association and its Foundation, and in 2006-07 chaired the 2,600-member Commercial & Federal Litigation Section.  Rosenthal is Vice President of the NY Bar Foundation and chairs its Cy Pres Committee, overseeing over $5 million in grants to grantees under the orders of many federal judges. 

She received the Counsel of the Year award for Excellence in Arts Law (Association of Media and Entertainment Lawyers) and the President’s Pro Bono Service award from NYS Bar Association.  NOW-nyc has named her a Woman of Power and Influence.

For 13 years she was in private practice as a business, litigation, and technology lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in Manhattan.  She clerked for US District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram in the federal court in Manhattan.

Rosenthal graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude and Harvard Law School. 

Follow her on Twitter @GoodCounselBook and Facebook.com/GoodCounselBook.

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