Corporation Counsel's Message

Biography of the Corporation Counsel

James E. Johnson is the 79th Corporation Counsel of the City of New York. As the chief lawyer for the City, Jim leads the New York City Law Department, overseeing approximately 1,000 attorneys and 890 support professionals, to provide the highest quality legal representation to the City.

Prior to leading the Law Department, Jim served dual roles as special counsel to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for the Atlantic City transition and as a senior fellow at the Brennan Center. In Atlantic City, Jim led a team that brought together public officials, the private sector and the community to build a foundation for sustained social and economic progress and a shared prosperity. At the Brennan Center, Jim focused on issues of criminal justice reform with a nonpartisan group of national law enforcement leaders who have been working to reduce crime and incarceration. Earlier, Jim had served as chair of the Brennan Center for seven years. Jim also served as Chair of the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Police Standards. The committee worked across party lines and with civil rights and law enforcement groups alike on important issues of criminal justice reform.

Jim also held senior positions in federal government during the Clinton Administration. He held several roles in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement. As Under Secretary he oversaw the operations of the ATF, the Secret Service, the Customs Service and other enforcement and regulatory bureaus with more than 29,000 employees. He was one of the Clinton Administration's leading voices on firearms, money laundering and narcotics policy. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Jim also worked for a time in private practice as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.