The New York Bar Foundation 2024 Grant Program

The New York Bar Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2024 grant program. The deadline to apply is September 15, 2023.

Because of a very generous gift from Professor Merril and Hope Sobie, the Foundation is also accepting applications to improve the justice system for children and their families through empirical studies and research which advance justice for children.

A PDF of the press release regarding the grant program can be found here.

Please share this information with your section and committee members, and non-profit organizations you know that may qualify.

Thank you,
Susan Lindenauer
Chief Publicity Officer and Chair of the Foundation’s Cy Pres and Restricted Gifts Committee


The purpose of this Section shall be to bring together, for the furtherance of their mutual interests, and the public interest, members of the New York State Bar Association who are concerned about matrimonial and family law.

The Family Law Section, alone or in cooperation with other sections and committees of the New York State Bar Association, or in conjunction with other bar associations or organizations, shall:

  • Plan, coordinate and conduct continuing legal education programs;
  • Publish a Family Law Review and distribute it to Section members;
  • Provide a forum through which matrimonial and family law practitioners may cooperate with, encourage and assist each other in the resolution of problems and practice issues;
  • Enhance the skills and competency of New York attorneys practicing matrimonial and family law;
  • Formulate professional opinion in the areas of matrimonial and family law;
  • Review legislative and administrative proposals, rules and statutory changes and, where appropriate, initiate legislation and legal reforms in the areas of matrimonial and family law;
  • Serve as a resource to civic, governmental and public organizations in matters affecting matrimonial and family law;
  • Undertake all such other activities as may be authorized, from time to time, by the Executive Committee of the Section for the purpose of accomplishing the foregoing goals.


Contact the Family Law Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Carra Forgea
[email protected]
(518) 487-5521

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.

Joan Adams

Joan Casilio Adams Esq

J. Adams & Associates PLLC., Williamsville, NY

Joan Casilio Adams, Esq. is the owner of J. Adams & Associates PLLC, a law firm dedicated exclusively to matrimonial and family law. She became Chair of the Family Law Section in late January 2022. She has limited her practice to matrimonial and family law and related appeals since being admitted to practice in New York in 1988. Ms. Adams is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Bankruptcy Court and the Seneca Nations Peacemaker’s Court. She began practicing and became a partner at a boutique matrimonial firm, Ange, Gordon and Adams. Thereafter, she became a partner at Offermann, Cassano, Greco, Slisz and Adams PLLC where she practiced from 1999 to 2009. She is a 1984 journalism graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a 1987 graduate, cum laude, of the SUNY at Buffalo Law School.

In 1994, Ms. Adams was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, New York Chapter and is currently on the Board of Managers. She has been active in the New York State Bar Association Family Law Section for over 30 years. She has been listed for decades in the New York Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America for Family Law Lawyers. She has received numerous awards through both organizations including twice named the Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year – Best Family Law Attorney in Western New York, Best Law Firms for Family Law in New York, Top 25 Women Upstate New York Super Lawyers, Top 50 Lawyers in Upstate New York, New York Super Lawyers and Top 50 Attorneys in the Buffalo Area.

She is the past Chair of the Matrimonial and Family Law Committee of the Bar Association of Erie County and has been a Chair or Member of multiple Committees including the Judiciary Committee, Practice and Procedure in Family Court Committee, Law Office Management and the Appellate Practice Committee.

Ms. Adams is an Adjunct Professor of New York Matrimonial and Family Law  at SUNY Buffalo Law School. She is also a frequent lecturer and author for continuing legal and judicial education programs throughout the state. She has also taught at the Western New York private college level  and for many years, she has written and lectured for the New York State Supreme Court Judicial Institute which provides state-wide training of New York State Supreme Court Justices, Confidential Law Clerks and Family Court Judges and Magistrates.

Online Community


Family Law Review

The Family Law Review features peer-written substantive articles relating to the practice of family law on various topics including divorce, equitable distribution, prenuptial agreements, child custody and adoption. Also featured are Selected Cases and Recent Legislation, Decisions, and Trends. Edited by Lee Rosenberg, Esq., the Family Law Review is published by the Family Law Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.

The Family Law Review is published as a benefit for members of the Family Law Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

The Family Law Review 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 in such areas as divorce, equitable distribution, prenuptial agreements, child custody and adoption. Readers are also invited to submit decisions of general interest that have not been published elsewhere.

Author Guidelines

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

Family Law Section Fellowship Program

The Family Law Section (FLS) of the New York State Bar Association is pleased to continue its Family Law Section Fellowship Program.

The FLS will select up to five (5) attorneys to serve as Fellows for one year commencing in June. Each Fellow will be paired with a mentor from the FLS Executive Board who will work with the Fellow throughout the year to assist in his or her career development.

  • Fellows will be required to be a member of the FLS, to actively participate on a FLS committee, and to attend the Summer Meeting and Annual Meeting of the Family Law Section.
  • Fellows may also attend the FLS Executive Committee meetings. Reasonable travel expenses for the Fellows to attend meetings will be covered by the Family Law Section.
  • Fellows will be selected based on their applications and the diversity initiatives of the Family Law Section, which include diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, geographic location, and area and type of practice within family law.

Those who are interested in the practice of Family Law, are willing to become active participants in the work of the New York State Bar Association and the Family Law Section, and who desire to expand their professional network and further develop their legal career should submit an application by Monday, May 15, 2023.

For questions, contact:

Elena Karabatos, Esq., Fellowship Program Chair [email protected]

Carra Forgea, Staff Liaison [email protected]


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