On November 2, 2010, Eric T. Schneiderman was elected as New York’s 65th Attorney General. Since taking office, Schneiderman has quickly gained a reputation of working hard to protect everyday New Yorkers from consumer fraud, crime, and corruption. He has led efforts to jail corrupt politicians who have taken advantage of hard-working taxpayers and has taken down major drug trafficking rings across the Empire State.
Early Life and Education
Schneiderman was born in New York City on December 31, 1954 to Abigail Heyward and lawyer Irwin Schneiderman. After attending Manhattan’s Trinity School, Eric graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Law School.
Schneiderman briefly worked as a deputy sheriff in Berkshire County, Massachusetts before attending law school. Following his graduation from Harvard Law, Schneiderman worked as a law clerk for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York for two years. He then transitioned into private practice in 1984, becoming a partner at the international law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, where he stayed for 15 years. During that time he discovered his passion for public interest law by representing such clients as the West Side Crime Prevention Program, tenants seeking to evict drug dealers in their apartment buildings in Queens and Manhattan, women deterred from access to health clinics by picketing anti-choice activists, and taxpayers suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
In 1998, Schneiderman was first elected to the New York State Senate, where he represented the 30th district from 1999 to 2002 and the 31st district from 2003 to 2010. He won reelection with over 80 percent of the vote each time. During his decade-long tenure, Schneiderman led efforts to reform outdated drug laws, clamp down on fraud against taxpayers, and pass ethics reforms.
After taking office, Schneiderman quickly gained a reputation for standing up to special interests and corporate executives on behalf of everyday New Yorkers. In his first week in office, he launched the “Taxpayer Protection Unit,” an initiative focused on rooting out corruption in state contracts and pension funds. He also created the Homeowner Protection Program in an effort to help New York families facing foreclosure, and led the nationwide effort to obtain more than $95 billion from the banks responsible for the 2008 housing crash and financial crisis.
He has also done a great deal of work to combat climate change and protect the environment, leading a multistate initiative to remove pollutants from waterways, as well as a coalition of attorneys general committed to upholding the Clean Power Plan.
Schneiderman created the Community Overdose Prevention Program, which addresses the heroin epidemic by giving law enforcement agencies the life-saving antidotes to stop overdose. He launched the nationally-recognized I-STOP drug tracking system, which has decreased opioid-related doctor shopping in New York State by an astounding 90 percent.
Schneiderman resides in Manhattan and is a proud father of a daughter named Catherine.