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Dorothy K. Robinson

Of Counsel
Fax +1.212.536.3901
Dorothy Robinson is of counsel in the firm’s New York office, where she is a member of the Tax-Exempt Organizations/Nonprofit Institutions practice, and a member of the Higher Education practice. Ms. Robinson also supports the firm’s Global Boardroom Risk Solutions initiative.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Robinson was general counsel of Yale University since 1986 and Vice President since 1995 until retiring from that post in late 2014. She served as senior counselor to the university’s president until December 2015. As Vice President and General Counsel, Ms. Robinson was chief legal adviser to Yale University and the Yale Corporation (its governing board), president and officers; she was responsible for the conduct of all legal affairs of the institution, supervision of an in-house legal staff and direction of all outside counsel relationships. She also oversaw the university’s enterprise risk management and its federal relations programs.

Board Service
Ms. Robinson serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, Inc. (TIAA) and a member of the Board of Directors of TIAA Trust Company, FSB since 2015.

She also is a trustee of Yale University Press London, a U.K. registered charity.

Previously, she served on the boards of a number of higher education related associations, including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and other non-profit organizations, including the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Ms. Robinson was a trustee of Newark Public Radio, Inc. from 2006 until 2015, and has served on numerous other nonprofit boards.


Ms. Robinson is a lifetime Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Connecticut Law Tribune in 2014.

Additional Information

Ms. Robinson has served on numerous committees and task forces related to higher education, including the following:

  • National Academies of Science, Committee on the Management of University Intellectual Property, a committee of the Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy, Committee on Science, Technology and Law
  • Ad Hoc Tax Group (consortium of some 30 universities and associations to discuss federal issues affecting charitable giving), co-chair, 1996-2008
  • National Institutes of Health, Blue Ribbon Panel on Financial Conflicts of Interest, a working group of the Advisory Committee to the Director
  • Association of American Universities, Task Force on Research Accountability
  • Association of American Universities, General Counsels Advisory Group, co-chair 2007-2014
  • Association of American Universities, Diversity Task Force
  • Association of American Medical Colleges, Task Force on Financial Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Research
  • Joint Committee of Higher Education and the Entertainment Communities, a policy group convened by national higher education associations and RIAA, MPA and others focused on copyright infringement
  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Legal Services Review Panel
She also was regular columnist for the Association of Governing Boards’ publication Trusteeship on legal issues from 2003 to 2007.