On February 15, the NYU Law Women named Law School Trustee Sara Moss ’74, executive vice president and general counsel of the Estée Lauder Companies, as their 2012 alumna of the year. Moss joined the ranks of past honorees that include Christina Sanford ’00, attorney-adviser at the U.S. Department of State, M. Patricia Smith ’77, solicitor of labor at the U.S. Department of Labor, and Robin Steinberg ’82, executive director of the Bronx Defenders.
In his introduction of the event, Dean Richard Revesz explained that Moss is part of a long tradition of extraordinary legal women trained at NYU Law. “We began admitting women in 1890. This was 18 years before Yale, 37 years before Columbia, and a full 60 years before Harvard. Among our women graduates are some real leaders—a lot of firsts were the product of NYU Law School,” Revesz said, noting that the first woman state supreme court justice, the first female federal circuit judge, the first woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the first woman on the New York Court of Appeals were all trained at NYU Law.
Revesz also spoke of Moss’s dedication to her alma mater. “She has participated at countless forums, panels, student luncheons, various law and business initiatives, and women’s initiatives. She’s been extremely generous with her time. The Law School is enormously grateful to Sara Moss. She is a very fitting honoree tonight, and I’m so glad that all of you are here to witness with us this very special evening for the Law School,” he said to the crowded room of current students, prospective students, and alumnae.
In accepting the award, Moss spoke of the warm, welcoming environment that the NYU Law Women created for her as a student, as well as the continued support that she found from the community throughout her career. “It means so much to me because the women of this Law School mean so much to me and have meant so much to me. They’ve been important to me in my career and in my life. The women at NYU were the reason I came here. They supported me throughout my Law School life and my career, and one of them helped launch my career. Some of them are still my closest friends after 40 years,” she said.
Moss also gave several pieces of advice to the current students and admitted students in attendance. “One is support each other,” she counseled, referring back to the immense support she received from her Law Women peers in Law School and beyond. “The second is: Take risks. I think women particularly don’t take enough risks, in their careers and probably in their lives. And the third, and maybe the most important, is to follow your heart.”
Watch the full video of the event (31 min):
Posted February 21, 2012