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Secretary Johnson Featured in Columbia Law School Article

April 15, 2021

Litigation partner Jeh Johnson was featured in a Columbia Law School article, “Jeh Johnson ’82: Success on Two Tracks,” published on the Columbia Law School “Lions of Law” section of the website. The article discusses Secretary Johnson’s personal history as a third-generation Columbian, his recent public policy work—including leading a five-month investigation into racial bias in the New York State court system—and the lessons learned from his dynamic career in both private legal practice and government service. When decisions are controversial, for example, public service can mean taking public heat. “You will find that public policy and government decision-making is complex, and is rarely unidimensional,” he said. “There is rarely an opportunity to act solely on your personal, moral convictions.”

Secretary Johnson also reflects on how government service has made him a better leader and a better lawyer at Paul, Weiss. Leadership requires “learning to inspire other people, learning to be the best version of yourself and encouraging others to be the best version of themselves,” and also learning to be decisive. “[W]hen you have a big job, you have to make a decision. And you have to stand behind it—but without becoming too entrenched, so that when someone asks you to make a similar decision, you don’t feel beholden to always make the same choice,” he said.

Secretary Johnson was recently elected to the Columbia University Board of Trustees.

» read the article

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