Howard joined Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP in 1977 as an associate and became a member of the Firm in January 1985, and has been a member of the firm's management committee since 1991 and managing partner since 1997. He is a past president of the 3,000-member National Association of Bond Lawyers (“NABL”), ending his term in September 2000, whereupon The Bond Buyer wrote he was stepping down “with kudos from regulators and other market participants for dramatically changing the character of NABL and propelling it into a major leadership role in the municipal market.” Howard received in 2007 the Career Achievement Award from The Municipal Forum of New York, an organization started in 1938, the membership of which includes all sectors of public finance, including public officials, investment bankers and attorneys. He was awarded the Friel Medal by NABL in 2012 for Distinguished Service in Public Finance. Howard was chosen by The Bond Buyer to chair its inaugural National Public Finance Conference in December 2001, its Tri-State/New York Public Finance Conferences in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and its first six National Outlook Conferences, in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Howard has been selected for three years as one of the 500 leading lawyers from over 1.1 million lawyers by Lawdragon magazine, which wrote “[t]his housing heavyweight is at home leading the nation’s premier bond boutique.” He was selected as one of 500 leading lawyer-dealmakers in the nation by a legal industry publication. He has also been included for many years in the “Best Lawyers in America” survey and in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. Howard was selected as 2013 and as 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in Public Finance Law, having received the highest voting average during Best Lawyers' comprehensive peer-review evaluation. Howard was presented in 2020 with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Award in the field of Law.
Howard has over 42 years’ experience in housing finance. He was the first Chairman of the Bond Finance Practice Division of the Forum of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law of the American Bar Association (“ABA”). He chaired the Single Family Bond Workshops of NABL for five years. Howard was for two years the Chairman of the Public Finance Committee of the State and Local Government Law Section of the ABA and prior thereto was the Chairman of its Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee. He is a Life Patron Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.
Howard currently is in charge of the firm's representation in connection with several state housing finance agencies, including State of New York Mortgage Agency, California Housing Finance Agency, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and Oregon Housing and Community Services Department. Howard has also been a leader in the securitization of tobacco settlement payments.
Howard has lectured extensively on the subjects of tax-exempt housing finance, securities law and ethics.