Alumni Spotlight: Anthony Fong ’14

As a young child, Anthony Fong ’14 announced in a family home video that he would become a lawyer and “fight for the rights of the people in court.”

Today, Fong is General Counsel for Broadway Stages and Staten Island Stages. Broadway Stages owns over 50 television and film soundstages in Brooklyn and Queens and is home to the world’s first solar-powered soundstage. Staten Island Stages recently acquired over 69 acres in Staten Island and plans to invest at least $20 million to develop the property. A core part of Fong’s job is to negotiate contracts with major media companies, including CBS, Marvel, ABC, Disney, Netflix, HBO, NBC, Showtime, Paramount, and Fox. He also handles issues of litigation, environmental law, real estate, leases, and more. He is particularly proud to have helped facilitate Broadway Stages’ donation of waterfront land in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for public use.

“As a general counsel, you’re essentially a firefighter,” Fong says. “You solve whatever problems come up. It can be stressful, but it’s also very enjoyable in that I touch on almost every area of law.”

His career trajectory is equally varied. In high school, Fong, a lifelong New Yorker, began working part-time at a personal injury firm to contribute to his family’s income. The role exposed him to the legal profession. Fong enrolled at NYLS after attending the University at Albany and graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Philosophy.

A family tragedy sparked his interest in immigration law. Fong lost his father to brain cancer as a teenager. When his father was gravely sick, Fong’s paternal grandparents sought to visit their son from Malaysia but were denied entry into the U.S. for reasons never made clear to them.

“We tried everything we could to bring them to the U.S.,” he said. “They couldn’t see their son before he passed away. It broke their hearts.”

Determined to become a resource for immigrant families, Fong took immigration law courses and volunteered with the Safe Passage Project, which he still does. He also interned at a small firm with an immigration practice, where he worked full-time after earning his J.D. After the firm, Fong launched his own immigration practice. He also consulted 16 hours a week pro bono for the Immigration Legal Services branch of Catholic Charities Community Services.

Next, Fong worked for the New York City Department of Buildings Loft Board, which regulates the legal conversion of certain lofts in the city from commercial and manufacturing use to residential use.

“I jumped around a few times trying to learn different parts of the law because I was so interested in the law as a whole,” Fong says. “Even obscure areas of law that people might think would be bland turned out to be fascinating.”

A common thread in all of his jobs has been a focus on people.

“That’s the whole reason I wanted to practice law, and that’s why all these transitions feel so seamless to me,” he says.

An active NYLS alum, Fong is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Asian Alumni Group. He also started the Anthony K.C. Fong, Esq. ’14 Scholarship Fund for law students who can demonstrate financial need and have shown strength and positivity in overcoming the loss of a loved one early in their lives. The scholarship honors Fong’s father and his mother, who worked seven days a week to support Fong and his sister as a single parent.

In addition, Fong is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance and the Flushing YMCA, on the advisory board of the Kingsborough Community College–Customer Experience Management Academy, and active in other groups. He is also a partner at Brode, an electrolyte company, an executive producer in a production currently titled “The Last Muse,” and the founder of a specialized e-commerce brand.

“One of the most important lessons I learned from NYLS is that the tremendous value of your NYLS law degree is not confined to traditional attorney positions,” he says.

“A lot of people have told me, ‘Wow, you NYLS graduates are hustlers and go-getters; you all do so much and have a great mind for business.’ That is a great point of pride to me.”