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As people are living and working longer, the definition of what it means to be a senior continues to evolve. The demographics affect us all, including lawyers. Senior lawyers currently make up 25 percent of the Association’s membership, and include those who continue to work full time at law firms or in solo practices, as well as those who opt for part-time employment opportunities or donate pro bono services in their communities. In July 2006, the New York State Bar Association formed a special committee to recognize such lawyers and the unique issues that they face. As the result of the work of this committee, in 2008, the House of Delegates approved creation of the first 50+ Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association.

50+ Lawyers Section Profile

Lawyers who are age 50 or older have valuable experience, talents, and interests. Many such senior lawyers are considering or have already decided whether to continue to pursue their full-time legal careers or whether to transition to a new position, a reduced time commitment at their current position and/or retirement from a full-time legal career. Accordingly, the 50+ Lawyers Section has been created and charged with the mission of:

  • Providing opportunities to senior lawyers to continue and maintain their legal careers as well as to utilize their expertise in such activities as delivering pro bono and civic service, mentoring younger lawyers, serving on boards of directors for business and charitable organizations, and lecturing and writing;
  • Providing programs and services in matters such as job opportunities; CLE programs; seminars and lectures; career transition counseling; pro bono training; networking and social activities; recreational, travel and other programs designed to improve the quality of life of senior lawyers; and professional, financial and retirement planning; and
  • Acting as a voice of senior lawyers within the Association and the community

Scope of Activities

The 50+ Lawyers Section seeks to address such issues as:

  • Career continuity
  • Career changes
  • The desire and opportunity to:
    • Render pro bono service
    • Serve on boards
    • Mentor other attorneys
    • Take CLE courses relevant to seniors
  • Social activities for seniors

 

Contact the 50+ Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Ernesto Guerrero
[email protected]
(518) 487-5535

Please do not contact the Section liaison with a request for legal advice or an attorney referral. You can instead visit our ‘Public Resources’ or ‘Lawyer Referral Service’ page for this type of request.

Hon Adam Seiden

Hon. Adam Seiden

Hon. Adam Seiden is Chair of the 50+ Section. Judge Seiden is admitted to practice law in the State of New York for forty-six (46) years. He is a sole practitioner with a general practice located in Mt. Vernon, New York. He recently retired (mandatory) after twenty-seven (27) years as Associate City Court Judge of the Mount Vernon City Court where he published in excess of one hundred (100) decisions in the New York Official Reports.

Judge Seiden is a past president of both the Mount Vernon and Westchester County Bar Associations and is on the executive committee of New York State Bar Association as vice president from the Ninth Judicial District. He is also a member of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association.

Judge Seiden holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lehman College, Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School and LLM degree from New York University School of Law.

Online Community

The Voice of Experience

The Voice of Experience features substantive articles for lawyers who are age 50 or older and is published to help with career continuity and career changes. Formerly titled The Senior Lawyer, articles that have appeared in past issues include such topics as value of important papers, estate planning, ethical issues, life settlements and retaining and maintaining closed files. Also included are updates on Section news, committee reports, programs and events. The Voice of Experience is published by the 50+ Section and distributed to Section members free of charge.

The Voice of Experience is published as a benefit for members of the 50+Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

The Voice of Experience encourages article submissions on topics of interest to members of the Section. Writing an article for a NYSBA Section publication is a great way to get your name out in the legal community and advertise your knowledge. Our authors are respected state-wide for their legal expertise.

Author Guidelines

NYSBA has created comprehensive author guidelines, with information regarding our reprint policy, style guidelines, and obtaining MCLE Author Credits.

Awards

2023 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award

2022 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award Winner:

Emilia Rodriguez, Esq.

Pace Women’s Justice Center— White Plains, NY

Emilia RodriguezEmilia is the daughter of immigrants (mother from Colombia/father from Honduras), raised in New York City and Hudson County, New Jersey. A product of public schools, Emilia received her B.A. in English & Politics from NYU (1981) and her J.D. from NYU School of Law (1984).

After a year of private practice, Emilia worked as a staff attorney in the Housing Law Unit of South Brooklyn Legal Services. Emilia also served on Community Board 6 in Brooklyn, as well as the NYU Public Interest Law Foundation. Emilia then took a break from the practice of law to raise her 3 beautiful children.

13 years ago, Emilia started her volunteer legal work at the Pace Women’s Justice Center, where she has answered Helpline calls, represented & counseled survivors of domestic violence, seeking Orders of Protection, Custody and Child/Spousal Support at the Family Court Legal Program and provided legal consultations in the Walk in Clinic.

In addition, over the last three years, Emilia has also been volunteering with Catholic Charities of New York, representing clients seeking asylum.

Daniel D. Shonn, Jr. Esq.

Founder, Daniel D. Shonn Attorney— Akron, NY

Don ShonnAfter completing Law School at UB in 1975, I joined the Buffalo firm of Moriarty Allen Lippes and Hoffman and became a partner in a successor firm, Allen Lippes and Shonn in 1981. The firm was well-known in Western New York for its representation of plaintiffs in toxic tort cases such as the Love Canal Home Owners Assoc vs Union Carbide, The Bhopal Gas Disaster Litigation, and numerous Federal Clean Water Act cases in Western New York and the Hudson Valley.

In 1998 I joined two attorneys to form a general practice firm, Bloom Neubeck and Shonn. We participated in the Erie County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Program by representing clients on a pro bono basis in bankruptcy, foreclosure, landlord and tenant, and family court proceedings. The firm was recognized by the Volunteer Lawyers Program as the Small Firm Volunteers of the Year in 2001.

I have been active in the Village of Akron, my home for the past 46 years. I served on the Planning Board, was elected for three terms as a Village trustee, and served as Village Attorney for fifteen years. As part of my community service, on a pro bono basis I have incorporated or amended the documents of Newstead Library, Akron Lions Club, the Akron United Methodist Church, Hearts and Hands Faith In Action, a senior citizens assistance organization which now serves many of the suburban and rural towns in three counties, and a favorite because of my lifetime love of music, the nearly century old, Akron Community Band.

In 2020 I joined the New York Courts Emeritus Program as part of my long and winding road to retirement. At that time, Buffalo’s Center of Elder Law and Justice (CELJ) was organizing a “help” desk to provide limited representation to qualified unrepresented persons seeking assistance with issues in Erie County Surrogate’s Court. I have been an active participant in providing pro bono services since the inception of this program. The “help” desk volunteers provide advice and assistance in filing documents for probate, administration, and guardianship matters. Additionally, I am a frequent panel member as the volunteer attorney for Surrogate Decision Making Committees (SDMC) in Central and Western New York. The role of the SDMC under Art. 80 of the Mental Health Law is that of reviewing requests for certain medical procedures or end of life cases for disabled persons who have no family members or guardians who have the authority or willingness to participate in medical decisions.

Education:
Hamilton College BA 1967
SUNY College MScED Urban Education Teacher Corps 1970
SUNY Buffalo Law School JD 1975

Military Service:
US Air Force 1970—1974

Admissions: NY 4th Department 1976, US Western District of New York 1977, US Bankruptcy Court Western District of NY 1977, US Tax Court 1979

Honorees

2021 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award honoree was Scott Fein, Esq., Partner, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, Albany, NY

2020 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award honorees were: Jonathan J. Lerner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, New York, NY and George “Jerry” Mackey, Barclay Damon LLP, Rochester, NY.

2019 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award honorees were: Ronald C. Mayer, The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program, New York, NY and Shirani Ponnambalam, Pace Women’s Justice Center, White Plains, NY.

2018 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award honorees were: Joan Lia Levy, Esq., Pro Bono Partnership, Inc., White Plains, NY and Anthony Szczygiel, Esq., Center for Elder Law & Justice, Buffalo, NY.

Special Commendation: Blaine V. Fogg, Esq., Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, New York, NY.

2017 Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award honoree was Glenn J. Pogust, Esq., Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, New York, NY

Retirement Life Planning After Covid-19: Where are You and Your Practice Heading (Part II)

Retirement Life Planning
Recorded on March 9, 2021

Retirement Life Planning After Covid-19: Where are You and Your Practice Heading (Part I)

Retirement Life Planning
Recorded on February 9, 2021

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Recorded on January 12, 2021

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