Theresa A. Conroy
Harter Secrest & Emery LLP
Theresa A. Conroy has litigated in many areas, including general commercial, environmental, land use, matrimonial, real estate, labor and employment and higher education. A partner with Harter Secrest & Emery LLP of Rochester, she started as an associate with the firm, operated her own civil law firm and began teaching at Monroe Community College and SUNY College at Brockport, her undergraduate alma matter.
Something about higher education intrigued her and she left the field of law for a seven-year stint SUNY College at Brockport in a variety of roles, including as a full-time faculty member, academic administrator, director of affirmative action and associate director of human resources.
“Being on a college campus, in many different roles, revealed to me how much I enjoyed being at the table, helping to solve problems and advance opportunities to improve the campus climate and student life,” she said.
Conroy later returned to Harter Secrest & Emery, back to campus work, and back again, utilizing her practical experience in labor and employment relations and higher education legal issues to inform her private legal work, counseling higher education clients and vice-versa. In 2009, she created a formal learning and networking structure, dubbed the Higher Education Roundtable, for regional colleges and universities in partnership with Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Nazareth College.
In November 2015, Conroy expanded the roundtable into a day-long higher education conference. The event was a success that built relationships and developed a larger, collaborative learning community focused on some of the most pressing legal and social issues. After becoming a partner in 2003, she has helmed the firm’s higher education practice and has overseen its growth.
“Standing in a courtroom advocating for clients is not where my talents or interest lie,” Conroy said. “Instead, sitting side-by-side, working through thorny issues, and always being there when the going gets tough is what I do with and for my clients.”