Ernest J. Collazo

Ernest J. Collazo

Founding Partner
Collazo & Keil llp
747 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-2803
P: 212-758-7753
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The College of Labor and Employment LawyersErnest J. Collazo has been practicing labor and employment law for more than 45 years.  In 1974, he began his career in the New York Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board following his graduation from Columbia Law School.  After two years, he accepted an associate position at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and less than five years later, he was elected to the partnership.  Ten years after his election to the partnership, Mr. Collazo left to co-found the original predecessor firm to Collazo & Keil LLP, a boutique firm practicing exclusively management-side labor and employment law and litigation.  In November 2022, the Firm celebrated its 31st anniversary.

Mr. Collazo’s experience covers the full-range of complex labor and employment law issues.  He has counseled and advised clients, some of whom have been clients for over 35 years, in all facets of labor and employment law.  He is one of New York’s most experienced negotiators in collective bargaining, and has an enviable record in defending his clients in labor arbitrations and before the NLRB and other local, state and federal employment agencies, as well as before judges and juries in employment litigation.


  • Columbia Law School, J.D. 1974
  • Hunter College, B.A. 1971


  • New York 1975
  • District of Columbia 1975
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York 1975
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia 1995
  • U.S. Supreme Court 2000


  • Attorney Grievance Committee, Appellate Division, First  Department: Chair, 2016 to 2019
  • Disciplinary Committee, Appellate Division, First  Department: Chairman, 2014 to 2016
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit, Advisory Committee to the Rules Committee: Member, 1999 to present
  • Federal Bar Council Inn of Court: Master, 2000 to present
  • Federal Defenders of New York, Inc.: Director, 2005 - 2012
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York: Delegate to the NYSBA House of Delegates, 2007 to 2011, and Member: Nominating Committee, 2011, Executive Committee, 2001 – 2005, Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics, 1997 – 2000, Committee on Minorities in the Courts, 1992 – 1995, Committee on Labor and Employment, 1990 – 1993, and Committee to Encourage Judicial Service 1989 – 1993
  • New York State Bar Association: Member, Nominating Committee, 2009 and 2010, and Labor and Employment Law Section, Committee on Individual Rights and Responsibilities in the Workplace
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Council
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York Fund, Inc.: Director, 1991-1997


  • New York Community Trust, Distribution Committee: Consultant, 2012 - 2015; Member, 2001-2012
  • James Foundation: Director, 2001 – 2012
  • United Hospital Fund of New York, Inc.: Director, 1994-2007
  • The September 11th Fund: Director, 2001 - 2005
  • VIP Community Services, Inc.: Director, 1999 - 2004
  • Steering Committee of the NY Conference on Immigration Representation led by Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the Second Circuit: Member, 2008-Present
  • Lehman College Foundation, Inc.: Director and Secretary,  1991-1997
  • New York Alliance for the Public Schools: Member, Selection Committee for the Revlon Harmony Awards, 1990-1991
  • New York State Ethics Commission, Public Advisory Council: Member, 1989-1991
  • Hispanic Business Magazine: Selected as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S., 1989 and 1990
  • Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.: Director, 1983-1997; Chairperson, 1989-1992


  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Latin American Program: Member, Advisory Board, 2012 - 2015
  • Washington Office on Latin America: Director, 2009 to 2012
  • United Nations Association of the USA, Inc., National Council: Member, 1990 - 1994
  • Russian Children’s Welfare Society, Inc., Petroushka Ball: Patron for over 35 years
  • Youth Action International, Inc.: Sponsor, scholarship fund for blind young girls in Sierra Leone to attend private schools


  • Recipient of the 2019 Whitney North Seymour Award given by the Federal Bar Council
  • The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers: Fellow
  • Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island, Inc.: Smith/Stanley Award Recipient,  2010  
  • AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • New York Super Lawyers: Selected, 2009 - 2020 – Metro