On April 21, the NYU School of Law chapter of the Order of the Coif inducted Law School Trustee Ronald Moelis '82 as an honorary member. Moelis, co-founder and principal of L+M Development Partners, was already an official member—he was inducted to the Order following his graduation from the Law School in 1982.

The Order of the Coif recognizes those who have achieved academic excellence. Students who finish their sixth semester of study in the top 10 percent of their class and graduate magna cum laude earn membership. The name originated in Medieval England, when the best lawyers were known as sergeants-at-law; upon their appointment, they received an elaborate white headdress, called a coif, to be worn in court. These men, who later added the wigs to their daily outfits, became known as sergeants of the coif.

NYU chapter president Oscar Chase, Russell D. Niles Professor of Law, welcomed the 2010 provisional members before turning the podium over to Dean Richard Revesz, who introduced Moelis. “Ron sees opportunities where others see challenges. In the face of the housing crisis, he developed the Moelis Public Policy Program at the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, which has allowed the Center to make its public policy work more visible,” Revesz said. “He embodies the ideals of the Law School and the ideals of the Order of the Coif,”

During his almost 30-year career, Moelis has played a major role in the housing and real estate landscape of New York City. L+M Development Partners was founded in the 1980s, and was the first developer to integrate federal low income housing tax credits with New York City’s Vacant Building Program. Since then, L+M's work has included the creation of mixed income rental and homeownership opportunities in New York City while incorporating community outreach and sustainable building practices.

Moelis is a member of the board of advisors of the Furman Center and the advisory board for the Center’s Institute for Affordable Housing Policy. Moelis is also currently vice chairman of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing and is an advisory board member of the Housing Partnership Development Corporation. He sits on the board of governors of the Real Estate Board of New York and the board of directors of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council.

While congratulating the students on their academic achievement, Moelis also challenged them to be conscious of doing good for the community during their professional careers. “You are among the best and brightest of your generation—keep an open mind to using the education and the skills you developed at the Law School to do things that are creative, interesting, and that you enjoy,” Moelis said. “There is a lot of good you can do, both in the law and outside of it.”

Posted April 23, 2010