Patricia Harris, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP Photo

Patricia A. Harris

Special Counsel LEED AP
  • New York, NY
    801 Second Avenue
    New York, NY 10017


Patti Harris, Special Counsel at Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, provides legal and business counsel to architects and engineers across the country. A serial entrepreneur, Ms. Harris is the founder and CEO of Licensesure, which provides business and licensing compliance services to design professionals. From 2000 to 2013, Patti served as the Managing Partner of Zetlin and De Chiara. Ms. Harris started her career as a corporate attorney with two New York City law firms and her legal practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, business organization and management issues, and licensing issues.

Ms. Harris is very active in design industry organizations. She is a member of the Board of Directors and President-Elect of the Global Design Alliance. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, having served as Board Chair in 2015. In 2012, she served on the Mayor's Task Force for Rebuilding New York City.

She speaks and writes about business organization and professional licensing to industry organizations such as the AIA and ACEC.

Ms. Harris has been recognized for her leadership by the Global Design Alliance which presented her with their Sutherland Award for service to the design industry. She is recognized in Super Lawyers' list of top rated attorneys. In 2024, Ms. Harris was selected to City & State New York’s 2024 “Fifty Over 50 – The Age Disruptors” list. This annual list honors some of the most accomplished individuals in New York who have achieved success and, as part of that, made New York City a better place.



Honors & Recognitions

  • City & State New York’s 2024 “50 Over 50" 
  • Supers Lawyers 
  • The Sutherland Award 2019, Global Design Alliance
  • Women Worth Watching Awards 2014, Profiles in Diversity Journal
  • Urban Green Space Service Award 2013, Special Recognition, The Mayor's NYC Building Task Force
  • Outstanding Woman 2009, Women's Builder's Council

News & Events


Speaking Engagements

  • event

    Patricia Harris, Special Counsel

    Patricia Harris, Zetlin & De Chiara Special Counsel, will speak at the Small Firm Symposium, sponsored by AIA NYS, AIA New Jersey, and AIA Pennsylvania. She will discuss Ownership Transitions.

  • event

    Patricia Harris, Special Counsel

    Zetlin & De Chiara Special Counsel Patti Harris has been invited to speak on "Professional Business Entities & Licensure: Rules to Live by Whether You’re Starting Out or Growing Your Practice" on the EntreArchitect podcast Context & Clarity LIVE.

  • event

    Jaimee Nardiello, Partner, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

    Patricia Harris, LEED AP, Special Counsel, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP; Founder and CEO, Licensure LLC

    Elena Brescia, RLA, FASLA

    Lina Telese, Hon. AIA- General Counsel, Jaros, Baum & Bolles

    Jaimee Nardiello, Partner, and Patricia Harris, Special Counsel, will speak on a panel, Business Up Front: Contracts and Compliance at the ASLA SKILL | ED program. The panelists will share their expertise regarding the practical challenges faced by all design professionals when they establish their own practices.

  • event
    Center for Architecture

    Paticia Harris, Special Counsel, Zetlin & De Chiara LLP

    Dynishal Gross, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business

    Abner Larrieux, President, A.L. Consulting

    Nancy Goshow, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Partner, Goshow Architects (Moderator)

    Puzzled by the process of applying for M/WBE certification? Wondering what you need to qualify? Don’t know where to start? Join the AIANY Women in Architecture and Diversity and Inclusion Committees for a panel discussion with experts from NYC agencies to answer these questions and clarify the certification process.

  • event
    Monday, September 23

    Timothy Hegarty, Partner - Moderator

    Patricia Harris, Special Counsel - Moderator 

    Timothy Hegarty to moderate "State of Alternative Project Delivery Methods" panel on Monday

    Patricia Harris to moderate "Extending Your Firm's Geographic Footprint" panel on Monday 

  • event
    Center for Architecture

    Michael J. Vardaro - Managing Partner 

    Patricia A. Harris - Special Counsel & Founder and CEO of LicenseSure LLC 

    State laws and regulations affecting architectural practice are voluminous, conflict from state to state, and can impact fundamental aspects of doing business—including licensing, entity formation, marketing, branding and solicitations. For those unaware of or failing to heed the rules, these laws and regulations can result in disciplinary proceedings. This seminar will highlight specific areas where firms, often inadvertently, breach local laws or ethical rules, and will address when regulatory authorities are likely to look for violations. 


  • publication
    American Institute of Architects NYS

    Zetlin & De Chiara Special Counsel Patti Harris authored an article on business ownership transitions for the AIA's digital magazine, ARCHITECTURE New York State in its February issue.

  • publication
    ABA Forum on Construction Law | Design Professional’s Guide to Construction Law

    Jaimee Nardiello, Partner and Patricia Harris, Special Counsel authored a chapter in the ABA published book,  Design Professional's Guide to Construction Law.

    Chapter Abstract: The licensing of design professionals can be a confusing patchwork quilt of disparate state regulations. States have professional boards or registration agencies that handle licensing, disciplinary proceedings and other professional matters. Most states have separate legislation and supporting regulations for the design professions such as architecture and engineering.


Community & Professional

Global Design Alliance

Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Construction Law Committee

The American Bar Association

General Counsel / Board Membership

Board of Directors, Global Design Alliance, 2005-Present

Chair-Elect, Global Design Alliance, 2020

Member of the Board of Directors, Member of the Executive Committee, Treasurer and past- Board Chair, Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation


New York University, M.B.A, with distinction

New York University, J.D.

Pomona College, B.A.


  • New York
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