Lost Password

Yale menu

Daily News

John M. 'Jay' Westcott, Jr.

May 24, 2022

Jay Westcott was born in New York City on August 1, 1944 the son of John McMahon Westcott ‘27S and Mary Pitkin Westcott. At the age of 12 he moved with his family to his father’s hometown of Springfield, Ohio where the Westcott family had deep roots including his grandparents who in 1907 built a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (Westcott House). He attended Springfield North High School and then graduated from Andover. He entered Yale in September 1962 and was a member of Saybrook College and an English major. Each semester he was either a Ranking Scholar or on the Dean’s List. In addition to intramural touch football and basketball he was on the varsity squash team and Captain of the varsity tennis team. He received the George Phelps Memorial Award for tennis. He was also co-captain of the Harvard-Yale Prentice Cup tennis team following his senior year and had many unforgettable stories of their tour of Europe. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1969 and joined the law firm of Hale and Dorr in Boston, Massachusetts, where he ultimately served as Assistant Managing Partner and oversaw the merger of the firm in 2004 with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering of Washington, D.C. to form Wilmer Hale, a firm with over 1,000 lawyers. Following his retirement at the end of 2012 he published three books on the principles of law firm management and lectured on that subject at legal conferences. He was described by colleagues at Wilmer Hale as “a pioneer in the field of law firm management. He was uniquely focused and passionate about the professional management of law firms and spoke and wrote frequently on management, compensation systems, and the role of technology.” He also served as Clerk of the Board of Trustees of the Winsor School in Boston for over 25 years. He was an accomplished tennis player who won the club championship at the Country Club of Brookline. In retirement he continued to play tennis and also pursued a love of golf and played at courses all over the world, sometimes with Luke Lynch. He enjoyed skiing with his children and noted in our 50th Reunion Book that he still did some cross country and downhill skiing. His love of sports included attending 57 consecutive Harvard-Yale football games from 1960-2017.

He was a devoted husband to Suzy whom he married 6/27/1970. In our 50th Reunion Book he noted that they still lived in the house they bought in 1975. He was also a loving father and grandfather to their 3 children Valerie (Yale ’94), John and Jeffrey, and granddaughters Wynnie and Paget. He is also survived by his brother Jeff.

Benjamin Liptzin