Dean’s Roundtable with Harold Akselrad ’77, former General Counsel for Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO), on Thursday, March 1, 2012

Regularly during the school year, the Dean hosts roundtable discussions with prominent guests who have utilized their law degrees in a variety of nontraditional ways. Over lunch with a small group of students, guests speak autobiographically about their work experiences, sharing valuable insight about how they found their chosen path.  Please note that the roundtables are informal and off-the-record.

Harold Akselrad ’77, who will be the Dean’s guest on Thursday, March 1, is the recently retired Co-President and General Counsel of HBO, the pay television network, where he was in charge of overseeing the network’s Legal, Business Affairs, Film Acquisition, and Technology groups.

Harold joined HBO in 1983 as Associate Counsel in the Litigation department, and was soon promoted to Counsel, then Chief Counsel, and then to Vice President and Chief Counsel in May, 1986.  After taking a brief leave to serve as Special Litigation Counsel for ATC, the predecessor of Time Warner Cable, to oppose a hostile takeover attempt by Paramount Communications, he returned to HBO.  There, he continued to rise in the ranks, becoming Senior Vice President, Business Affairs in March, 1989, and Executive Vice President, Business Affairs in April, 1999. 

In October 2002, he was named General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal, Business Affairs and Film Programming, responsible for all legal aspects of HBO’s operations, including the business affairs, production, and administration of HBO’s entire programming operation.  In June 2007, he was appointed Co-President of the company.

Prior to joining HBO, Harold served for three years as a litigation associate for the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.  Previous to that, he worked for two years as a law assistant for the Justices of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.  While a law student and as a recent graduate, he spent three years as a law clerk to the general counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in New York.  Harold earned a B.A. in politics from New York University in 1974 and a J.D from NYU School of Law in 1977.

The Dean’s roundtables are open to 18 interested NYU School of Law J.D. and graduate students. In order to achieve a representational mix of students, we will designate a proportionate number of seats to J.D. students and graduate students, respectively, to be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The roundtables will begin at 12:30 P.M. in Snow Dining Room. If you would like to attend a roundtable, please sign up in advance by emailing Please indicate whether you are a J.D. or graduate student, and whether you have any dietary restrictions.

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