Scheinman Institute Advisory Board Spotlight: Douglas Wigdor
Current professional position:
Founding Partner, Wigdor LLP
Washington University, St Louis BA, Political Science, Business Administration
University of Oxford, England M.Litt, Politics
Catholic University, Washington, DC, JD
I started my career as a prosecutor and then became a trial lawyer specializing in representing victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and discrimination of all kinds.
I have been fortunate to have been involved in many high profile matters including the representation of the maid in the Dominique Strauss Kahn sexual assault matter, eight Harvey Weinstein victims, multiple employees in gender and race discrimination claims against Fox News, Charles Oakley in his claims against Madison Square Garden, five new personalities in their claims against NY1, the former CEO in her gender discrimination and retaliation claims against the Grammy Awards, and a large group of women in their sexual assault claims against Uber.
My most memorable professional experience:
My most memorable professional experience was my first civil trial in which I represented a young man with cerebral palsy who was terminated from his job at Wal-Mart because of his disability. It was a hard fought litigation battle and I recall being told that I offended Wal-Mart because of the monetary demand that I had made at mediation. Fast forward to the trial, we received a jury verdict of $7.5mm which was the largest single plaintiff verdict under the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the verdict was reduced somewhat, the findings of liability were ultimately upheld by the Second Circuit. The fact that I was able to change this young man’s life forever made me quickly realize that I was in the right profession.
What motivates me to be involved with the Scheinman Institute?
Conflict resolution is critically important in everything I do. The Scheinman Institute is a resource for me where I can both share my experiences and learn from others. My fellow board members and those affiliated with the Institute have a wide array of knowledge and expertise.
A personal experience working with the Institute/ILR:
My wife and I have funded a joint research project between The Scheinman Institute and Weill Cornell involving home care workers and their satisfaction and training correlating to the care they give to patients. As more people are cared for in their homes, this cross-campus research is extremely important and I have been so fortunate to have Ariel Avgar and Dr. Madeline Sterling oversee the research.
Advice I would give to students:
When looking at career options, find something you are genuinely interested in rather than something that you think looks better to your friends and family or may pay more in salary. Ultimately, to be good at what you do you need to spend countless hours mastering your subject matter and doing what you love makes that easier and undoubtedly more effective.