Alumnae News & Highlights

An HB lifer, attorney Dorothea “Dorsey” W. Regal is fond of saying, “HB taught me everything I ever needed to know.” She was “successful academically” during her time at Hathaway Brown, she says – an achievement she attributes to a nurturing learning environment and rigorous, dedicated educators. While studying French, Latin, and drama alongside other core requirements, she strove for Ms. Coburn’s smiley-face congratulations for making the honor roll. After graduation, Dorsey attended Vassar College, where she majored in drama and minored in French. “When I graduated from college I was faced with the reality of having to support myself,” she says, so she turned her ambitions to something likely “to pay my rent”—first, general office work and then her true calling: law. 

After Brooklyn Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Law Review, Dorsey joined White & Case, a top global law firm. Concentrating on international and US legal business disputes, she once helped stop unlawful payments to Iranian banks during the Iran Hostage Crisis. 

In 1996, she co-founded her own boutique, women-owned litigation firm in New York City: Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney. “We were one of the first breakaways from a leading New York law firm,” says Dorsey. “It was really groundbreaking to set it up as women-owned.” Today, the firm has 21 lawyers and is “one of the largest and oldest certified women-owned law firms in the state of New York,” she says. 

Lawyering is “not like being Christine Baranski in The Good Wife, at least for me,” says Dorsey. “I am not in court every day; the cases I handle are pretty complex and take a long time to resolve.” Most of her time is spent reading and writing legal documents and preparing for trial. “I still concentrate on international business disputes,” says Dorsey. “This year I am leading a team of lawyers in an arbitration in Switzerland on a very large insurance claim to force the insurer to honor its policy.” In her off-time, Dorsey is a Broadway producer. She and her husband, who is both the brother and manager of playwright and actor Harvey Fierstein, are co-producers of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which earned a Tony and an Olivier Award for Best Musical. 

Looking back on her time at HB, Dorsey says one of her biggest takeaways was “not to be cowed by other people, particularly men.” Growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s, she notes, “life was a lot different for girls and women. It was very important to have the foundation of self-confidence that HB gave me.” Her advice to HB students? “Try to make something happen every day.” 

  • Distinguished Alumnae Award