Letty Marcus Tanchum

Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service

Letty Tanchum

Letty Marcus Tanchum is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She has practiced law in the areas of entertainment, broadcasting, and charitable foundations. She served as Vice President and General Counsel of Harpo Productions, Inc. and then The Oprah Winfrey Foundations. As General Counsel for Harpo, Ms. Tanchum had overall responsibility for all legal aspects of the company including pre-publication review of The Oprah Winfrey Show, contract negotiations, FCC matters, and legal decisions in the areas of labor, trademark, and music. In 1998, she managed a high profile first amendment trial brought against The Oprah Winfrey Show by Texas Beef Feeders.

When The Oprah Winfrey Foundation built a Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, Ms. Tanchum worked with the Minister of Education of South Africa from the inception of the Academy project. She traveled to South Africa several times a year in connection with the establishment and then operation of the Academy. She also negotiated agreements with the government to build additional schools in South Africa.

Ms.Tanchum worked on grant projects in the U.S. as well as abroad for educationalscholarships, after-school centers for children, and the distribution of school supplies, books and clothes. She became involved with the NYU Wagner Graduate School when The Oprah Winfrey Foundation endowed a fellowship at NYU Wagner for African students.

Ms. Tanchum has lectured throughout her career at many schools including Duke and NYU and has been a guest speaker at countless industry conferences. She gave the Key Note address at Duke Law School Orientation in 2008 on Integrity. In October 2005, she was named one of the leading 500 lawyers in America (one of 75 women) by Lawdragon Magazine. Ms. Tanchum received the 2008 Charles S. Ward Award from Duke Law School, which honors a graduate’s dedication to education and public service.

Ms. Tanchum is a summa cum laude graduate of Duke University and a graduate of Duke Law School.

This is a course in Contracts for the non-lawyer.  Every day we see contracts and may have to read them, sign them and/or perform them.  Many organizations are not large enough to have their own in-house counsel and calling outside counsel is expensive.  Thus, more and more executives and their staff have the responsibility of understanding the day to day contracts with which they come in contact.  The course will cover specific contracts related to the type of work many Wagner students may do, such as grant agreements, agreements with fundraisers (consultants), commercial co-venture agreements, and grants to foreign charities that involve contracts with foreign entities. 

Download Syllabus

This is a course in Contracts for the non-lawyer.  Every day we see contracts and may have to read them, sign them and/or perform them.  Many organizations are not large enough to have their own in-house counsel and calling outside counsel is expensive.  Thus, more and more executives and their staff have the responsibility of understanding the day to day contracts with which they come in contact.  The course will cover specific contracts related to the type of work many Wagner students may do, such as grant agreements, agreements with fundraisers (consultants), commercial co-venture agreements, and grants to foreign charities that involve contracts with foreign entities. 

Download Syllabus

This is a course in Contracts for the non-lawyer.  Every day we see contracts and may have to read them, sign them and/or perform them.  Many organizations are not large enough to have their own in-house counsel and calling outside counsel is expensive.  Thus, more and more executives and their staff have the responsibility of understanding the day to day contracts with which they come in contact.  The course will cover specific contracts related to the type of work many Wagner students may do, such as grant agreements, agreements with fundraisers (consultants), commercial co-venture agreements, and grants to foreign charities that involve contracts with foreign entities. 

Download Syllabus