Name: Ashley Doukas
Company Name: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Real estate association / organization affiliation(s): NYC Bar Association; Rockaway Youth Program: Surfrider Foundation
What are some of your biggest accomplishments in the last 12 months?
As a young female land use lawyer, and mother of two children under the age four, having accomplished the below is a testament to my ambition and managing a demanding legal career and work-life balance. Over the past year, I played a role in the city’s first mandatory inclusionary housing rezoning where our project will provide 474 affordable housing units in the Bronx. I am acting as project manager and spearheading the rezoning and development of a NYC waterfront. I provide daily advice to clients on the city’s Greater East Midtown text amendment and guiding and advising clients on the intricacies of the zoning text.
What blogs, resources, podcasts or influencers have helped you?
Daily, I review Crain’s, Politico, CityLand and REBNY and pass on timely articles of interest to my clients.
Someone who has influenced me is Meenakshi Srinivasan, who was the chair of the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals when I began my career in land use and zoning. Her knowledge of the law, management of projects and staff, and overall demeanor influenced me to continue my career in this field. Prior to the BSA, she worked at the Department of City Planning. After the BSA, she went on to be the chair of the NYC Landmarks Commission. It was encouraging to see a woman play a such vital role in shaping the landscape of NYC zoning and land use.
How important is it for women to create a personal brand?
Creating a personal brand is extremely important, especially for a woman in NYC’s competitive real estate market. As a young, female attorney I find it critical to display a level of confidence that resonates to clients. I also strive to give back to my local community by active participation in the Surfrider Foundation, a Rockaway youth program that focuses on creating a lifelong passion for the environment.
How many messages are in your inbox right now and how do you manage email?
Too many for my liking, currently 62 emails. Timely communication is a top priority, so being organized and filing emails is important. I set aside time every day to respond to emails. If an email cannot be immediately responded to and requires further research and time for a more thorough, accurate and well thought out response, I believe it is still important to acknowledge the email and assure the sender that you are on top of it. Once a return email is sent to the sender, I flag that email to ensure no emails fall through the cracks.
What do you do like to do for fun?
I enjoy participating in beach activities with my husband, kids, and dog. I also enjoy hiking and visiting wineries upstate.
In one word, describe yourself: