Labor and Employment Law Section: Samuel M. Kaynard Memorial Student Service Awards

The purpose of the awards are to enable New York State Law Schools to recognize excellence among their law students in the area of labor and employment law and to cultivate the relationship between the Labor and Employment Law Section and future labor and employment practitioners.

Presented by: Labor and Employment Law Section

Award Criteria: All law school students. Student(s) must be nominated by a dean, professor or attorney. Direct student applications will not be considered.

Guidelines: The Award is intended to encourage scholarship and exemplary service in the field of Labor and Employment Law. The Award is made by the law school to the student(s) in recognition of an extraordinary accomplishment in the field, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Organizing and/or conducting programs at any educational level conducive to the propagation of labor and employment knowledge and skills
  2. Outstanding performance in a labor or employment course, clinical experience, project, internship or related activity such as: a collective bargaining simulation grant proposal to research labor and employment issues, curricular revision, or other exposition on the subject;*
  3. Facilitating conflict resolution or peer mediation programs for elementary or secondary school students;
  4. Utilizing the internet and its components (e.g. World Wide Web/e-mail) to disseminate or receive labor and employment information;
  5. A substantial action or activity in furtherance of labor and employment law, performed or instituted in the year of this competition.

Note:  Written essays or articles are excluded from this award category since the Labor and Employment Section’s Dr. Emanuel Stein Memorial Writing Competition accommodates these submissions.


  • The dean of the law school or his or her designee may nominate one to three students for this award.
  • All nominees will be recognized in a special supplement of the Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter. All nominees will also receive a paid student membership in the Labor and Employment Law Section for one year.
  • All nominations must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than November 30. Nominations made after that date will not be considered.
  • Permanent address and social security number for each applicant must be provided.
  • The Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section reserves the right of final approval of the award recipients and the right to make changes in the procedures and guidelines in succeeding years.

Nominations should be sent to:

Emily Kurtzner, Liaison and Program Manager
Labor and Employment Law Section
New York State Bar Association
One Elk Street
Albany, New York 12207
[email protected]

Samuel M. Kaynard Memorial Student Service Awards  

New York State Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section

Co-Winners: Seth Goldstein and Astrid M. Aune

Seth GoldsteinSeth Goldstein

Seth Goldstein is a third-year law student at St. John’s University School of Law. During his time in law school, Seth has served as a staff member of the St. John’s Law Review, where his Note Rigid Rideshares and the Driver Flexibility Myth, will be published in a forthcoming edition. Additionally, he is the President of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Society, is a Research Assistant to Professor Miriam Cherry, and is a Teaching Assistant and tutor for many courses, including Legal Writing and Analysis, Intro to U.S. Law and Legal Systems, and Applied Legal Analysis. Seth is additionally a pro bono scholar and will be working with the St. John’s Child Advocacy Center after taking the February 2024 bar exam. Prior to law school, Seth attended the Cornell University School of Industrial Relations and then worked for six years in healthcare software, including both a domestic placement and a three-year placement in Singapore. After graduating from law school this summer, he will join the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager, & Flom LLP.

Astrid AuneAstrid M. Aune

Astrid M. Aune is a third year law student in the evening program at the CUNY School of Law. Prior to law school, she earned a Bachelors in Global Studies at New York University and a Masters in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Astrid serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for State Senator Jessica Ramos, who represents neighborhoods in central and western Queens and chairs the Senate Committee on Labor. In her nearly three years working for Senator Ramos, Astrid has worked on legislation to raise and index the minimum wage, codify salary transparency in job descriptions, protect workers and whistleblowers from retaliation, and protect warehouse workers from dangerous and predatory surveillance. She is a founding member of the organizing committee of the New York State Legislative Workers United, who are organizing state legislative staff towards their first collective bargaining agreement.


Samuel (“Sam”) M. Kaynard was a nationally recognized expert in the field of labor law and labor management relations.

Sam Kaynard enjoyed a long and very distinguished career as a labor lawyer that began at the National Labor Relations Board in 1946. He was one of only a few career employees of the agency to have enforced the National Labor Relations Act (also known as the Wagner Act) as originally passed in 1935, and later amended by the Taft-Hartley and Landrum-Griffin Acts in 1947 and 1959. Mr. Kaynard was most well known as the Director of the Brooklyn Regional Office of the NLRB, which he founded in 1964 and ran until 1986, when he retired from the NLRB after 40 years of dedicated service. That office is one of the NLRB’s busiest, handling unfair labor practice cases and union representation elections in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and on Long Island.

Following his retirement from the NLRB, Mr. Kaynard continued his practice at Proskauer Rose LLP (then Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn) a national law firm with 475 attorneys. He was a valued source of insightful advice for the more than 100 lawyers at the firm who specialize in labor and employment law. He left the Proskauer firm in 1994 to become an arbitrator. He passed away in 1997 at his home in Roslyn Estates, New York. Mr. Kaynard was an active participant and supporter of many philanthropic organizations, including the UJA-Federation and the Labor and Employment Law and Employee Benefits Specialty Group.

After practicing law, Mr. Kaynard’s greatest love was teaching it. Over the course of his career, he was a member of the faculty at New York University School of Law, from which he graduated first in his class and valedictorian in 1942. He also taught at Fordham Law School, Brooklyn Law School, and from 1986 until his death, the Hofstra University School of Law, where he was Professor Emeritus and faculty advisor to the Labor Law Journal. Law firms throughout the City and State of New York are filled with Mr. Kaynard’s students. In addition to his academic pursuits, Mr. Kaynard was active in bar associations at the local, state and national level. He served on the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.