In his long-running tenure as a top executive at Time Warner Inc., Paul F. Washington ’95 has seen and survived it all: corporate mergers, downsizing, CEO successions, hostile takeover attempts, and a global financial crisis. Starting this January, Washington will bring his tremendous wealth of boardroom knowledge to Fordham Law School as the Corporate Law Center’s resident fellow.
Washington started at Time Warner (now Warner Media, LLC) in 1999 as a litigation counsel, and seven years later rose to his current position as senior vice president, deputy general counsel, and corporate secretary. Washington informed Dean Matthew Diller this year would be his last at Time Warner during a chance on-the-street encounter one evening as Washington headed to the Law School to teach his adjunct course on corporate governance. A subsequent scheduled conversation prompted Diller to offer Washington a Corporate Law Center role.
Washington expressed gratitude for the opportunity to engage with the Fordham Law community and emphasized his willingness to do whatever he could to assist students, faculty, and administration as resident fellow. This could mean anything from helping students make valuable connections and identify rich topics to research and write about to putting colleagues in touch with people who could speak at Law School events. He also hopes to have time to work on his own to-be-determined projects.
“I’ve gone through almost anything you can go through with a board of directors, and along the way many other things,” Washington said. “Hopefully, that breadth of real world experience, and some degree of trauma and drama, will be valuable to people at the School.”
Washington attended Fordham Law as an evening student while working full-time as vice president and corporate secretary at the Dime Savings Bank of New York. At Fordham, he enjoyed a collegial environment filled with smart people who celebrated each other’s successes in a manner unlike what Washington was initially expecting. He graduated magna cum laude and won the Chapin Prize for highest G.P.A.
After graduation, Washington clerked for U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge David S. Tatel before moving to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he clerked for retired Associate Justice William J. Brennan Jr. and Associate Justice David H. Souter. Washington worked as an associate at Sidley & Austin from 1997 to 1999 before joining Time Warner Inc.
“I wouldn’t have had the career I had without Fordham Law,” Washington said. “Fordham enabled me to attend school at night while working full-time by day. I received an intellectually rigorous and theoretically interesting education that also provided me an excellent grounding in the law. My Fordham education enabled me to clerk at the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court, go into private practice for a bit, and have the career I’ve had since.”