For me, a meaningful life means being involved in the
larger world around me in a useful way.
   
 
I'm wary of people who turn interests into virtues, so I'll just focus on the interest side. I started reading Time Magazine when I was 13. When I was 15 my mom and I listened to NPR analyze the just-released Bakke decision, as she drove me to my first stint at debate camp in Redlands, California.

Throughout high school, I participated in competitive speech and debate, which focused almost entirely on current events and public policy. My civic interests are have been strong for a long time!

I've participated in a number of causes as a citizen (of the U.S. and of the larger world).
Happily, my work in the past years has sometimes allowed me to contribute my professional skills as well.
   
 
   
  The Center for Family Life, Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I'm on the board of directors of this amazing social-service organization that helps very poor immigrants in Brooklyn succeed in their new lives. CFL is nationally known for innovation and effectiveness. For example, they recently helped a group of women launch worker-owned cooperatives for childcare and home cleaning. These cooperatives allow their members to market effectively, earn more money and therefore have more time to care for their own families.
   
  Comprehensive Development, Inc. / Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School
I'm on the board of CDI, a partner organization to Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School. Manhattan Comp is a transfer school that makes it possible for 18-21 year-old students who have fallen out of the standard school system - or have never been part of it - to finish high school. It provides an integrated set of tutoring, health, legal, job-training and placement services to make sure that these students have a strong platform to have great lives. I was introduced to both CDI and CFL through another great New York institution, Robin Hood Foundation.
   
  I have also conducted several Spanish-language workshops on branding and consultative sales for service-sector worker cooperatives in New York, including the Center for Family Life, Make the Road New York, and Voces Latinas.
   
  When I practiced an attorney, I worked at Davis Polk & Wardwell, which is extremely supportive of its associates doing pro bono legal work. One of the highlights of my time there was collaborating with Evan Wolfson of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund. In 1996, when Congress was in the process of passing the fraudulently named "Defense of Marriage Act" - which attempted use federal law to preclude gay people from having equal marriage rights - Evan and I constructed arguments about the unconstitutionality of this law that were used in the Congressional debates and which have contributed to the evolution of legal argumentation since then. One of the best parts of this effort was working with a team of 7 associates and summer associates to help with the research and writing. Our DPW team was privileged to include several people who are now considered among the brilliant minds of the legal world, most notably Noah Feldman.
   
  Another proud moment was assisting a Burmese filmmaker, Win Pe, to win political asylum. This work was supported by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Pro Bono Net.
   
 
  I am a semi-regular attendee to the TED Conference in Long Beach. I can't say I do much other than listen and talk to lots of people, but it's a thrill to be part of such an enriching community of big ideas.
   
 
 

Here are some of the charities I give to (I'm sure they would welcome your money as well.)

   
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