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April 2023 House of Delegates

From day one I observed that a successful career is obtained by mentor relationships, professional development training and access to meaningful assignments. Much of my professional development and fulfillment has been obtained through my activities that I have engaged in as an active member of bar associations.

Benefits of Professional Networking

One of my DA’s office mentors, Margaret Finerty, encouraged bar association membership. Peggy knew that prosecutors are a part of the larger family of lawyers represented by bar associations, and it was important that the voices of all actors in the criminal justice system be heard.  Along with my New York County Lawyers Association presidency, my New York State Bar Association activities and relationships have contributed greatly to my professional development.        

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2023 Cooperstown House of Delegates

This past year I was honored to co-chair, with Andy Kossover, NYSBA’s Task Force on the Modernization of Criminal Practice.  Immediate Past-President Sherry Levin Wallach appointed the Task Force in the summer of 2022.

President Levin Wallach entrusted Andrew and I with shepherding a significant review of criminal practice and the criminal justice system to suggest new laws and policies to improve safety, fairness, access to justice and efficiency in the administration of criminal justice. We hope that the Report educates the public and provides a resource to legislators and policymakers as they seek to improve safety, fairness, access to justice and efficiency in the administration of criminal justice.

Increasing Diversity in the Legal Profession

In 2017, I was honored to receive the Kay Crawford Murray award.  To receive an award named after Kay was very special as she spent her career recognizing the value of diversity in the legal profession and dedicated her career to advancing the professional development of women attorneys.

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Catherine Christian and Kay Crawford Murray [2017]

I am one of those women. Kay was always soft spoken with sage advice.  Proverbs 31:26 best describes Kay: “She opens her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness.”  I thank the women and men like Kay who have been mentors and role models throughout my career to support and push me forward. I have learned from each of them that your personal achievement is meaningless unless you bring others up with you.