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Deirdre Carson has more than 25 years of experience as a New York land use and co-op/condo lawyer. She has represented developers, real estate investors and educational institutions in land use and zoning matters, with associated environmental quality reviews, as well as in cooperative and condominium legal matters, before the City’s Department of Buildings, City Planning Commission, Board of Standards and Appeals, City Council Landmarks Preservation Commission and the State Attorney General’s office. Recently, Deirdre was the lead zoning lawyer representing a New York City university in obtaining New York City land use approvals of a Master Plan for the development of 2.3 million square feet of residential, academic and dormitory space. Deirdre was selected as one of Real Estate Forum’s Women of Influence in September 2009.


  • Land use and zoning
  • Cooperative and condominium law
  • Real estate litigation (primarily Article 78 proceedings)



  • Represented Fordham University in obtaining special permits to permit construction of 2.3 million square feet of academic and residential floor area on the University’s Lincoln Center campus.
  • Represented a private university at the Court of Appeals in vindicating university’s right to maintain a 400 foot antenna tower on its campus.
  • Represented a national retailer entering the New York City market in obtaining Department of Buildings interpretation of Zoning Resolution to permit broad spectrum of accessory services with principal store use
  • Represented a private university in connection with the rezoning portion of its campus to permit construction of a consolidated parking facility.
  • Represented a national retailer in obtaining site plan approvals under City waterfront regulations on 400,000 square foot parcel.
  • Representing a national supermarket company in obtaining site plan approvals for the construction of a new store in a shopping center.
  • Represented numerous developers in obtaining special permits for adaptive reuse of landmarked loft buildings in lower Manhattan.
  • Assistant to Mayor Edward Koch, 1979-1981

Recognition & Leadership

  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Real Estate - Litigation, 2017 and 2022
  • Team Member, City & State, "Top 50 NYC Lobbyists," 2021  
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Real Estate - Land Use/Zoning, 2021-2022
    • "Recommended Lawyer," 2022
    • "Other Key Lawyer," 2022
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2007-2019
  • Team Member, Chambers USA Award for Excellence, Real Estate, 2010, 2013 and 2017-2018
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, "Law Firm of the Year" in Real Estate Law, 2015
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Real Estate Practice Group of the Year," 2011-2013 and 2015
  • Team Member, The Legal 500 United States, "Top Tier" Firm in Real Estate, 2013 and 2014
  • Listed, AVENUE magazine "Legal Elite," Real Estate, April 2011
  • Listed, Arrive magazine "Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast," 2011
  • Listed, Real Estate New York "Women of Influence," September 2009
  • Recipient, Arthur Vanderbilt Award for Service, New York University
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
    • Real Property Committee, 1988-1991
    • Land Use and Zoning Committee, 1991-1994; 2000-2003
    • Environmental Law Committee, 1996-1999
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
    • Real Property Section, 1982-present
    • Trial Lawyers Section, 1982-present
    • Environmental Law Section, 1992-present


  • J.D., cum laude, New York University School of Law
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A., cum laude, Harvard University
    • Radcliffe College
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • French