Lesley Rosenthal

Lecturer on Law

Fall 2017


Assistant: Wendy Moore / 617-496-2865


Lesley Rosenthal is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, where she is originating a new course called Advocating for the Rule of Law: A Practical Approach. At Harvard, she has taught the Problem Solving Workshop with Prof. Todd Rakoff, addressed the Program on the Legal Profession with Prof. David Wilkins, appeared on Dean Minow’s Boss and Counsel series, and delivered the Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Lecture. She has also lectured at Yale Law School’s Chirelstein Colloquium series and taught original courses on nonprofit law at Georgetown Law and University of Miami Law School as well as the University of Chicago Law School’s Corporate Lab.

A proponent of practical and inclusive approaches to legal education, she has piloted several simulation courses and was recognized with the Harvard Danforth Teaching Prize.

Rosenthal currently serves as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. Since 2005, she has participated broadly in the management and operation of the center. Her oversight of the Legal Department includes contracts, real estate, intellectual property, employment and liability matters. Also under her leadership, the Government & Community Engagement Department assures greater public arts access in parks, libraries, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters and other settings where its impact will be greatest. Working with colleagues in Global and Digital departments, and overseeing the new Performing Arts Hall of Fame as well as the Lincoln Center Archive, Lesley has helped shape and pioneer major entrepreneurial initiatives in arts, media, fashion and consulting.

Rosenthal has extensive experience counseling organizations and governments on cultural policy and the governance of institutions. She is the author of the book, Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits (John Wiley & Sons, 2012). She has published articles in Fordham Law Review, University of Hawaii Law Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance & Financial Regulation, Policy Archive, and trade and general publications.

Rosenthal advocates worldwide and domestically for the Rule of Law, taking leadership roles in major bar associations and as Vice President of the New York Bar Foundation. In January 2017 she founded Let’s ROL, a group of artists, lawyers and others working together to activate democracy and promote the Rule of Law. Topics addressed in free public participatory workshops include free press, right to petition government, doxxing, voting rights and more. These efforts can be located on social media at @LetUSROL and using the hashtag #activatingdemocracy. In the summer of 2017 she is moderating a panel on Arts and the Rule of Law convened by the World Justice Project at The Hague.

Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Rosenthal was a commercial litigator at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in Manhattan, and law clerk in the Southern District of New York.

Rosenthal graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude in Philosophy, and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Assistant: Wendy Moore / 617-496-2865