For longtime Gibbons leader, Patrick C. Dunican Jr. Advisors offers chance to find ‘next big challenge’

Legendary executive feels he has plenty to add to plenty of sectors — but says he’s not looking to practice law

Patrick Dunican makes one point very clear: He doesn’t want to do legal work — and he will never compete against the Gibbons firm he so ably led for nearly two decades before exiting earlier this year.

“The people at the great Gibbons firm are extraordinary — everyone from the mailroom to the boardroom,” he said. “That’s why I call it, ‘The Great Gibbons Firm.’ It’s a term I coined because it’s true.

“I loved my time there. I left on great terms. And I’m telling you, I will never compete against the firm that I love.”

Fortunately for Dunican, he has so many other career options.

A career journey that has blossomed from the time he was the whiz kid 36-year-old elevated to managing partner at Gibbons has helped make Dunican an expert in so many areas: From higher education to marketing to crisis communications to risk management — really, anything requiring leadership, his special power.

It’s the reason why he created Patrick C. Dunican Jr. Advisors last month.

Now 57, Dunican feels he has so much to offer so many people and organizations. He’s eager to see where it goes. He wants to get that word out.

“It is important to me to let people know that I didn’t disappear — and I certainly didn’t retire,” he said. “I’m a person who needs to keep busy. I want to keep climbing. I want to find the next mountain.”

The options are many. Consider just a few:

  • Higher ed: Dunican served on Iona University’s board of legal trustees for 13 years, helping the school expand its campus (adding a location in Bronxville), adding a sport (men’s lacrosse) and changing its designation (from a college to a university), all while raising its national ranking: “I think we can help struggling institutions with some of the things that we implemented at Iona,” he said. “There’s a lot of science behind our success.”
  • Law schools: He served on the Seton Hall Law School board of visitors for 20 years, including time as chair, helping the law school become tops in the state and one of the best in the region: “Seton Hall Law is my first love,” he said. “Thirty-five years ago, they changed the life of a kid from Teaneck. I want to help law schools have that same impact.”
  • Branding: There’s a reason everyone has seen the Gibbons name at the top of a building when driving into Newark on McCarter Highway — and the reason the Gibbons lapel pins are ubiquitous, too: “People thought I was crazy for putting the name on the building,” he said. “It’s something only a 30-something kid would do. But it helped build the identity of the great Gibbons firm.”
  • Communications consulting: Public relations, marketing and crisis communications was his major in college: “It’s something that I love and embrace,” he said, giving a tip of the cap to two people he worked with at Gibbons: Dawn Afanador and Angela Pandolfo Roy.
  • Legel consulting: Whether it’s partner disputes or any other inner-office issue, Dunican has seen it all.
  • Nonprofits: “Giving back always has been part of the Gibbons ethos,” he said. “It’s something that always has been at core of what I do.”

Here’s what you won’t see on the list: golf.

“I’m a terrible golfer,” he said with a laugh. “And part of the reason is because I always choose working over playing.”

Contact Patrick Dunican

Patrick C. Dunican Jr. Advisors LLC expects to launch a website soon. For now, reach him at

That’s not going to change now, Dunican said.

His future, he said, may eventually include a CEO-type role. When that happens — and in what sector — remains to be seen. The immediate goal is to keep busy, putting the expertise he has in so many fields to work.

Dunican is confident things will work out from there.

“I know there’s somebody out there that needs me — and I know I need them,” he said. “It’s just a matter of us finding each other.”

Dunican said he’s eager for the challenges and the opportunities ahead.

“I know I have plenty of good years left,” he said. “I want to keep pushing ahead. I want to find that next mountain to climb.”