Sustainability Management Alum and Lawyer Goes From the Private to the Public Sector

In the Earth Institute's State of the Planet blog, M.S. in Sustainability Management alumnus Harry McLellan speaks about how the program helped him pivot working at his own private practice to working for the Law Department of the City of New York.

Before he enrolled in the Sustainability Management program, he had worked as a construction lawyer for over 20 years. Although he had been focused on the legal aspects of sustainable design, he says, "My influence [in the sustainability field] was limited because I worked in a small, private law firm." He also notes that he primarily worked on local and regional issues.

But at Columbia, he says that the diversity of his cohort and faculty "has widened my point of view on how environmental concerns affect the national and world communities." He says, "This experience has encouraged me to apply my skills on a larger scale."

Of his Columbia experience, he says, "I believe it will assist me in representing the City of New York with its diverse groups of stakeholders. I also feel personally enriched by the relationships that I have fostered with like-minded professionals seeking to influence their respective industries."

"Now, representing the City of New York I am afforded a broad platform from which I may address sustainability issues," he says. "I hope to integrate environmental concerns in the Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department by promoting extraordinary public works projects."

"I am provided the opportunity to offer solutions for sustainability initiatives that could significantly benefit the community."