Eleanor Jackson Piel, activist lawyer, now a doctor of law

LAKEVILLE — When Columbia University awarded Eleanor Jackson Piel an honorary doctor of law degree Wednesday, May 11, they recognized her decades-long career fighting for civil rights and against injustice. But Piel is still surprised by the honor.

Small, elegant, soft spoken and modest, Piel sits in her Fifth Avenue apartment with its incomparable view of the Central Park reservoir and its continuous geyser, across the park the fabled buildings of Central Park West — and spins stories from her 68-year career as an activist lawyer.

Full text available to premium subscribers only. Log in or Create an account.

Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

If you are already a print subscriber, click here to give us your contact information, and we will confirm your active subscription and give you a password to access the website.