Building Relationships on Results

Nicholas S. Cortese

Photo of Nicholas S. Cortese

Nick is an associate with Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP, and practices in the Firm’s Public Law, Labor & Employment, and Litigation groups. Nick’s diverse practice includes the representation of municipalities, school districts and fire districts on a wide range of legal issues. He also focuses on appellate, administrative and special proceedings litigation, and has experience advising local business owners on contractual, financial, and labor matters. Nick is a member of the New York State and Broome County Bar Associations.

Nick began his legal career as an Appellate Court Attorney for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department. From there, he was appointed as Senior Law Clerk to Third Department Justice Robert S. Rose. After his clerkships, Nick entered private practice with a law firm in Syracuse, New York, before returning home to Binghamton in 2017 to join Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP.

Prior to attending law school, Nick spent five years living on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, where he was a radio DJ and journalist, and hosted a daily television talk show on governmental and social issues affecting the Cape and Islands region of Massachusetts. In his spare time, he loves to play golf, ski, and play the bass guitar.

Honors & Awards

  • Finalist, 2019 HYPE Award – An award dedicated to recognizing young professionals in the area served by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce

Publications & Presentations

  • Making an Offer You Can Refuse: How to Write Nonbinding Proposals, N.Y. EMPLOYMENT LAW LETTER, Nov. 2017, at 2-3 (VOL. 24, No. 11).
  • Drawing Lines in the Shale: Local Zoning Bans, the Takings Clause, and the Clash to Come if New York State Promulgates Hydrofracking Regulations, 64 SYRACUSE L. REV. 489 (2014).
  • Article 78 Challenges to Area and Use Variance Decisions: A Guide for Town and Village Zoning Boards of Appeal, in 2 ISSUES IN LOCAL ZONING (Robin Paul Malloy ed., 2014) (Published by the Center for Property, Citizenship, and Social Entrepreneurism at Syracuse University College of Law).

Leadership & Community Involvement

  • Leadership Committee, Emerging Leaders Society of the UNITED WAY of Broome County (2018 – Present) – ELS is an organization focused on connecting young professionals in Broome County through networking events, community service projects, and fundraising for the United Way and local charities.
  • Young Professionals Advisory Group, Community Foundation for South Central NY (2019 – Present) – In 2019, this group established a fund to support leadership and development opportunities, charitable projects, programs and organizations created by and/or for young professionals in the region served by the Community Foundation.
  • Board of Directors, Center for the Arts of Homer (2016 – 2018) – The Center for the Arts is a non-for-profit performance venue, art gallery, art education center, and community gathering place located in Homer, NY, just outside the city of Cortland


Binghamton, NY Office
Cortland Office

Practice Areas


  • New York State, 2015
  • U.S. District Court for the
    Northern District of New York, 2016


Syracuse University College
of Law

  • J.D., magna cum laude, 2014

Boston University

  • B.S. (Journalism), magna cum laude, 2006

Professional Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association (Member)
  • Broome County Bar Association (Member)
Best Lawyers
Best Law Firm 2020
Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S.News & World Report 2019
Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S.News & World Report 2018
Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S.News & World Report 2017
Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S.News & World Report 2016
Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S.News & World Report 2015
Bl Cg 2020