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 was also selected to appear in the 2021 Super Lawyers list of top rated attorneys.
Honors & Recognitions
- Supers Lawyers 2021
- 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
Leading construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara LLP announced today that eleven of the firm’s partners were selected to Super Lawyers 2021, part of Thomson Reuters. One associate was chosen for the Rising Star list.
- 06.22.2021New York Real Estate Journal
During the last year, the focus on racial and economic inequality issues has led many design professional firms to initiate or increase the contributions of their people, resources and talents to pro bono projects. While architects
and engineers are in a unique position to provide meaningful and tangible services, particularly with respect to physical spaces, the good intent behind such projects will not shield a firm from potential liability. In particular, it is important to consider risk management and licensing issues before embarking on a pro bono project.
Eight Firms Join Forces to Form the Workwell Coalition to Rejuvenate the Office
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.
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.
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.
- 03.11.2020Center 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.
- 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
- 08.20.2019Center 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.
- 02.07.2023American 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.
- 04.28.2021ABA 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