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Michael A. Cardozo

Michael Cardozo has worked continuously since his appointment in 2002 as head of the New York City Law Department to enhance diversity within the legal profession. Upon taking office, Mr. Cardozo initiated a process of identifying the core values, mission and vision of the agency and identified diversity as one of these core values. He emphasized that maintaining a diverse legal staff at all responsibility levels is critical to the success of the office, and it is through his leadership that he has influenced others to value diversity in hiring. Mr. Cardozo has focused on the hiring, retention and promotion of ethnically diverse attorneys as well as gay and lesbian attorneys and attorneys with disabilities. He emphasizes the importance of “quality of life” issues as a means of fostering a diverse workplace and has addressed work-life balance issues, including maternity leave and part-time status, which have been of particular interest to women attorneys in the office. He is active in promoting the City Bar’s goals for in-house law departments by spear-heading the City’s initiative to hire more minority and women-owned law firms where it has been deemed necessary to hire outside counsel. Reaching out to the non-legal community, he also encourages diverse high school students to consider law as a career option. Holding himself and those who report to him accountable for diversity, Mr. Cardozo has created a diverse leadership team at the New York City Law Department and has been a role model to his staff and the greater New York community.