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William  Josephson, Esq.

William Josephson, resident in the New York office, is now a retired partner of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. His expertise in tax-exempt organizations led him to retire from Fried Frank, having become a partner in 1967, to become the Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Charities Bureau in the New York State Department of Law from 1999 to 2004 under former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. William continues to speak and write on issues concerning philanthropy in the United States. He has represented both donors and donees including with respect to major endowments. 

William's career in public service and in the private sector, through his Fried Frank law practice, continues to the present day. Beginning with his joining Fried, Frank in 1966, he served as counsel to New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay's Human Resources Study Group and thereafter after joining Fried, Frank, worked on a number of Lindsay Administration initiatives, including the Community School District System and Neighborhood Government. In the mid- 1970s, he represented the New York City Employees' Retirement System in the refinancing of New York City, its divestment from South African investments, and other matters. From 1967 until his retirement, he represented The City University of New York and its Construction Fund in many matters including its tax-exempt bond issues. He is representing pro bono the New York State Law Revision Commission in the reenactment of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law and many other matters. William recently successfully represented the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance pro bono when New York City denied its real property tax exemption on the sole ground that DPA was an "advocacy" organization. 

William has testified many times before various Senate and House Committees. His opinions on nonprofit issues are frequently reported in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy and other publications. 

William has also written many articles for legal publications, including Repairing the Electoral College, The Electoral College and the Popular Vote and Senate Election of the Vice President and House Election of the President and most recently, States May Statutorily Bind Presidential Electors, the Myth of National Popular Vote, the Reality of Elector Unit Rule Voting and Old Light on Three-Fifths of Other Persons, 76 U. Miami L. Rev. 761 (2022). 

William taught tax-exempt organizations at New York University's Heyman Center on Philanthropy for 15 years. He has also taught at George Washington, Cardozo and Brooklyn Law Schools and The Institute of Politics at The University of Chicago. 

For many years, he was a director of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  For over 40 years, he was a director and officer of Youth Communication, which teaches journalism skills to New York City high school students and foster care youth. He is an honorary trustee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, having served as a trustee since 1971. 

William was the senior advisor for the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute. He was a long-time partner, friend and colleague of Sargent Shriver. In late 1960, with a State Department colleague, Warren W. Wiggins, William co-authored The Towering Task, a paper that captured the imagination of Sargent Shriver and contributed directly to the design and scope of the Peace Corps. William continued to work with Sargent Shriver at the Peace Corps until 1966, holding positions as Special Assistant to the Director and then General Counsel. In 1972, William was a director of Sargent Shriver's campaign for Vice President on the McGovern/Shriver ticket.

In 1965, he received the William A. Jump Award for Exemplary Achievement in Public Administration.  He has also been honored by MALDEF, The University of Chicago and the New York State Archives.

Programs by William  Josephson, Esq..

Strengthening the Electoral Count Act of 1887 will cover first a brief history of the Act, a product of the disputed Hayes-Tilden election of 1876-77.  Thus, lawyers and others who participate in the Podcast will learn about the events of Januar...

Program Number
Program Date
Election, Campaign & Political LawFederal Courts
CaliforniaColoradoGeorgiaNew JerseyNew YorkTexas Self Study
Program Credits
Areas of Professional Practice:2 Credit
Total Credits
CLE Credit: 2