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VILAS S. DHAR

Co-founder & Senior Advisor

Attorney Vilas S. Dhar

Vilas Dhar is a co-founder and currently a Senior Adviser at Dhar Law, LLP. As a recognized business attorney with a commitment to social good, Vilas has represented clients in a wide variety of corporate transactions with a focus on impact capital investment structures, mergers and acquisitions involving both public and private companies, and the formation and growth of purpose-driven organizations. In addition, Vilas has served as counsel to Boards and executives on corporate governance, social responsibility, and innovative growth strategies.

As a co-founder of the firm, Vilas helped define a new model for corporate responsibility in legal services, recognizing clients and communities as stakeholders and building a model for significant engagement with global health and justice NGO's, social entrepreneurs, and the local arts community as a part of the Firm's DNA - a commitment to social impact lawyering that continues today.

Vilas currently serves as a Senior Fellow of the Berggruen Institute, Trustee of a philanthropic foundation focused on advancing neuroscience and technology for good, and advises several public and private sector organizations on business and philanthropic strategies. Vilas has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Boston Magazine and New England Super Lawyers, and has lectured extensively on topics of impact investing, social responsibility in business practice, and building innovative organizations for the public good.

He has served as the Gleitsman Fellow on Social Change at Harvard University, Practitioner Resident on Artificial Intelligence at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Illinois. He holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law, an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School, and dual Bachelor's degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Illinois. His work has been profiled/published in digital publications including the Harvard Business Review Online, Forbes, and Project Syndicate. While attending law school, Vilas was an editor of the Moot Court Board and authored a problem for publication in the NYU Moot Court Casebook. He was recognized as the Best Oralist at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Atlantic Regional Competition.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • 50% Government and Social Impact
  • 30% Entrepreneurship and Private Capital
  • 20% Business and Corporate Law
  • Non-Profit Formation and Operation
  • Financial Services and Microfinance

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Massachusetts, 2007
  • New York, 2007

EDUCATION

  • MPA, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Boston MA
  • J.D., New York University School of Law, New York, New York
  • Honors: Order of the Barristers
  • B.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Honors: Chancellor's Scholar
  • Major: Computer Science
  • B.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Honors: Chancellor's Scholar
  • Major: Biological Engineering

PUBLISHED WORKS

  • Impact Investing Needs Millenials, Harvard Business Review Online, 2014

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Gleitsman Fellow on Social Change, Harvard University, 2015 - 2016

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Boston Bar Association, Member
  • Vice Chair, YLD Ethics and Professionalism at American Bar
  • Steering Group, International Human Rights Committee at American Bar Association International Law Section
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

PRO BONO ACTIVITIES

  • Director, Next Mile Project - a Nonprofit Incubator

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