Lewis M. Steel Esq.

Lewis M. Steel Esq.

Senior Counsel
New York, New York
(212) 245-1000
(646) 509-2060

LEWIS M. STEEL works on a wide range of class actions and individual cases, generally involving racial  and sexual discrimination  matters as well as labor law violations. Presently, as a member of an Outten & Golden team, he has been ligating class action claims challenging  the invalidated use by employers of criminal records to deny applicants jobs, including the ground breaking Gonzales v. Pritzker settlement  against the United States Census Bureau, for which Mr. Steel  and the team received  the 2017 Public Justice Award.  Mr. Steel has also been listed in Best Lawyers in America for more than twenty years.

Before joining Outten & Golden, Mr. Steel handled a wide range of civil rights cases involving housing and zoning discrimination, as well as police brutality and criminal cases. He served as co-lead counsel in the Rubin Carter/John Artis case for which he was honored by the New York Criminal Bar Association in 2000. Moreover, New York Law School has awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his civil rights work and he has been an adjunct professor of law there.

Mr. Steel’s precedent-setting employment discrimination decisions include Sumitomo Shoji America, Inc. v. Avagliano, 457 U.S. 176, which established that American subsidiaries of foreign corporations must obey American civil rights laws. In the Sumitomo case and other employment discrimination class actions he has negotiated far-reaching settlements and monitored the companies’ performance. He now works on a range of class action cases involving sexual and racial discrimination, overtime claims, and tipping issues. Mr. Steel recently negotiated a ground-breaking settlement of pay, promotion, and retaliation claims for a class of African-American and Hispanic New York City Department of Parks and Recreation employees.

Mr. Steel graduated from Harvard College in 1958 and from New York Law School in 1963, where he was the Editor in Chief of the Law Review.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Class Action Employment Discrimination
  • Labor Law Violations

Litigation Percentage

  • 75% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1963
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit


  • New York Law School, New York, New York
    • L.L.B. - 1963
    • Honors: Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree for his Civil Rights Work
    • Honors: Adjunct Professor, New York Law School
    • Law Review: New York Law Review, Editor in Chief
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • B.A. - 1958

Published Works

  • Exonerating the Innocent: Pretrial Innocence Prodecures, New York Law School Law Review, Volume 56, 2011
  • The Butler's Child, Thomas Dunne Books St Mark's Press, 2016
  • Racism in the Courts: The Rubin "Hurricane" Carter Case, Verdict, Vol. 25 No. 2, 2019

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, 1989 - 2019

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Past President
  • New York County Lawyers Association, Board of Directors

Past Employment Positions

  • NAACP, Legal Staff, 1964


  • English (Primary)