Patricia A. Harris, Esq., MBA, LEED AP

Founder & CEO

Patti Harris provides legal and business counsel to design professionals throughout the United States. A serial entrepreneur, Patti is the Founder and CEO of LicenseSure LLC, which provides business and licensing compliance services to design professional firms. Patti is Special Counsel to Zetlin & De Chiara LLP, the New York City-based construction law firm, where she served as Managing Partner from 2000 – 2013. Patti started her career as a corporate attorney with two New York City law firms and her legal practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, ownership transition, M/WBE issues and licensing issues.

Patti frequently speaks and writes on industry-related issues, particularly with respect to licensing and transactions. She was a chapter contributor in the “Design Professional’s Guide to Construction Law,” published by ABA Construction Forum, Spring 2021 and has recently presented at the American Society of Landscape Architects 2022 National Convention, the Center for Architecture in New York, NY and on EntreArchitect’s Context & Clarity podcast. She is past Chair and a Board Member of the Global Design Alliance and General Counsel to and Executive Committee Member of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. She has been named a Super Lawyer, 2021 - 2023. Patti graduated with a B.A. in Government from Pomona College and a J.D. and M.B.A., with distinction, from New York University; she is a LEED Accredited Professional.


LicenseSure LLC

Founder and CEO, 2013 – Present.

Zetlin & De Chiara, LLP

Special Counsel, 2013 – Present; Managing Partner – 2000 – 2013. Advise design professional firms in connection with licensing matters, startups, ownership transitions, acquisitions and M/WBE compliance.

Harris Group LLC/Harris Management LLC

Founder and CEO, 1995 – 2005. Provided billing and bookkeeping services to small law firms and high net worth individuals. Sold business to an accounting firm.

Giancarlo & Glieberman LLP

Corporate Attorney, 1992 – 1995. Advised British clients coming into the U.S. for business and financing purposes.

Richards O’Neil & Allegaert LLP

Corporate Associate/Intern, 1987 – 1992. Transactional practice representing primarily venture capital and leveraged buyout groups in business acquisitions.



Ownership Transition Options for Small Firms, February 2023

NY Real Estate Journal

Making Sure Good Deeds Go Unpunished, June 2021

ABA Construction Forum

State Regulation of the Design Professional, chapter in Design Professional’s Guide to Construction Law, April 2021

ABA Construction Forum

participant in 50-state Survey of Licensed Design Professional’s Stamping and Sealing Obligations, May 2018

New Jersey Law Journal

What Design Professionals Need to Know, July 2016

NY Real Estate Journal

I Already Know if Your Design Professional Firm is Going to Succeed or Fail, April 2016

NY Real Estate Journal

Thinking About Starting Your Own A/E Firm? A Top Ten List of Considerations, “Designing the Right Entity, e-oculus, January 2014

ZDLaw Publication

Good Things Come in Three: Resiliency Reports Revealed in NYC, June 2013

ABA Construction Forum

participant in 50-state Survey of Firm Licensure Requirements for Architectural and Engineering Firms, January 2015


Small Firm Symposium sponsored by AIA New York State, AIA New Jersey and AIA Pennsylvania

Preparing for Ownership Transition, It’s Never Too Early, November 2022

EntreArchitect Podcast Context & Clarity

Professional Business Entities & Licensure: Rules to Live by Whether You’re Starting Out or Growing Your Practice, November 2021

ASLA National Conference

Business Up Front: Contracts & Compliance, June 2021

ACEC Tri-State Conference

Expanding Your Firm's Geographic Footprint, September 2019

Global Design Alliance

Trends in Construction Law, September 2019

Center for Architecture

States of Confusion: Laws and Regulations Impacting Multijurisdictional Firms, August 2019


What Large Architecture and Engineering Firms Want from Smaller Design Firms, October 2017

Business of Architecture

Architecture Firm Business Formation, May 2015


Benefit Corporations for Architects, November 2014


A Roundtable for Architects and Engineers, October 2014

Global Design Alliance

Records Management Policies: Update 2014, September 2014

Global Design Alliance

Future of Practice: Social Media, June 2012


Market Forecast/Market Trends, January 2012


Fifty over 50 – The Age Disruptors, 2024,

City & State NY

Super Lawyers, 2021-23

The Sutherland Award, 2019,

Global Design Alliance

Women Worth Watching, 2014,

Profiles in Diversity Journal

Urban Green Space Service Award, 2013,

U.S. Green Building Council New York

Outstanding Women 2009,

Women’s Builders Council

LEED Accredited Professional, awarded 2009,

Green Building Certification Institute

Professional and Civic

Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation,

General Counsel and Member of the Executive Committee, Treasurer (Chair in 2018), 2013 – Present

Global Design Alliance,

Board of Directors (Treasurer from 2014 to 2018, Chair in 2021, Executive Committee from 2014 to 2022), 2005 – Present

The Mayor’s NYC Building Task Force following Sandy, Special Committee on Homes Member,

(Select Task Force by Invitation Only), 2012-13

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York,

Construction Law Committee Member, 2016-19


New York University,

M.B.A. Corporate Finance, with distinction, 1996

New York University,

J.D., 1988

Pomona College,

B.A., Government, 1984

The LicenseSure Team


Mariana Stefan

Client Experience Manager

Mariana has been working with law firms and other small businesses since 1998. Over the years, she has worked in many areas of professional service firms, including financial management, office management, records management, HR oversight, firm Excel guru and overall software support. At LicenseSure, Mariana is working with clients to facilitate their filings, act as a liaison throughout the business formation and qualification process and overseas billing and accounting issues. Mariana lives in Surprise, Arizona, with her husband and son; she enjoys walking the beach, listening to music and reading sci-fi books.


Ximena Ospina

Ximena Ospina studied sociology and business management at Columbia University. She graduated in 2020 and is currently enrolled at the CUNY School of Law. She is passionate about bike riding and learning new languages. In 2021, she was in the top 1% of Duolingo users. In the future, Ximena hopes to travel the world and practice the languages she is learning.


Maria Poliski

Maria has worked at several law firms in Manhattan over the years. At LicenseSure, Maria has been working with clients in architecture, engineering and landscape architecture to facilitate their filings, business formation and qualification process. Maria lives in Brooklyn and enjoys reading, yoga, going to Broadway shows and pet sitting cats and dogs.


Rhiannon Lauer

Rhiannon is in her last year of undergraduate studies at Fordham University. She is looking forward to applying to Law School and pursuing a career in Corporate Law. She is an advocate for social justice and animal rights. Her free time is spent watching movies, reading books and poetry pieces, attending concerts, and traveling.


Marissa Vanzillotta

Marissa is currently completing her associates degree at Dutchess Community College. She has been working full time since graduated in 2018 and started college in the Fall of 2019, with graduation set for after this spring semester. In her free time, she enjoys reading. Though not a fan of winter, she enjoys skiing whenever the opportunity arises. One of her passions is assisting others and advocating for them in times of need. Marissa has a large family with whom she loves spending time with. She has a particular fondness for animals, especially dogs.


Ashley Miller

Ashley graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hampton University where she earned her Bachelors in Criminal Justice. Ashley is experienced being a change agent in our community and she is passionate about advocating for people’s rights. At LicenseSure, Ashley works with clients to facilitate filings, business formations, and qualification processes.


Jahnavi Swamy

Jahnavi graduated from Brandeis University in 2023 with a bachelor of science in Health: Science, Society and Policy and a minor in Psychology. She enjoys running, reading and traveling.


Corina Dia

Administrative Support

Corina has worked for various law firms as an administrative assistant and billing coordinator but for the past several years she has been developing her communication, listening, research and organization skills in her role as Mom to her twin girls. At LicenseSure, Corina is providing record-keeping and administrative support.


Alisha Patel

Alisha graduated from New York University in 2014 with a degree in Politics and a minor in Dance. Since then, she has worked at several law firms in the city and went on to receive her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2021. Post law school, Alisha worked at a Film Production Company, specializing in licensing, contracts, and intellectual property matters. She is a member of a South Asian fusion dance company in the city and enjoys spending time with her family in Boston.


Maya Sparks

Maya Sparks, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, possesses a passion for exploration across a variety of interests and pursuits. Whether immersing herself in the latest cinematic releases, or expressing her creativity through music, Maya approaches each endeavor with enthusiasm and dedication. Committed to ongoing growth and exploration, Maya eagerly anticipates making significant contributions across diverse fields in the future. Maya is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.

Recent Publications

  • NY Real Estate Journal

    Thinking About Starting Your Own A/E Firm? A Top Ten List of Considerations

  • e-oculus

    Designing the Right Entity

  • Resiliency Reports Revealed in NYC

    Good Things Come in Three

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Fall 2019 ACEC Tri-State Conference, "Expanding Your Firm's Geographic Footprint"

    September 23, 2019

  • September 11, 2019

  • Center for Architecture, "States of Confusion: Laws and Regulations Impacting Multijurisdictional Firms"

    August 20, 2019

  • New York State MWBE Forum: A Roundtable for Architects and Engineers

    October 2, 2014

  • Global Design Alliance, Records Management Policies: Update 2014

    September 18, 2014

  • Global Design Alliance, Future of Practice: Social Media

    June 2012

  • January 2012