The purpose of the Local and State Government Law Section shall be to serve, educate and provide a common meeting ground and impartial forum for those attorneys, whether in the public or private sector engaged in dealing in any capacity with issues in local or state government law. The Section shall carry forward the work of the New York State Bar Association by:

(a) Providing a common meeting ground and impartial forum for those members of the Bar who are engaged in dealing with problems in local and state government law in any capacity;

(b) Furthering a better understanding of local and state government law through the holding of meetings and seminars, the making of studies, surveys and analysis and the dissemination of current information concerning judicial decisions, legislation and other matters of interest to attorneys practicing local and state government law;

(c) Formulating and submitting to the members of the Section and the Association, such reports and recommendations as may be deemed useful to the profession and advisable in the public interest;

(d) Reviewing pending legislation and promoting or opposing the same in the name of the Section (or one of its committees) and, whenever in its judgment necessary or appropriate, initiating legislation;

(e) Furthering the public interest through the practice of local and state government law; and

(f) Furthering access to justice through the promotion of voluntary participation in regional and local pro bono programs.

Upcoming Local And State Government Law Section Committee Meetings

View upcoming LSGL Section Committee Meetings with the Doc below.

Contact the Local and State Government Law Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Emily Kurtzner
[email protected]
(518) 487-5582

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.

Michael Kenneally

Michael E. Kenneally of Albany is the chair of the section. Kenneally is the executive director of the New York State Municipal Workers’ Compensation Alliance (Comp Alliance), a workers’ compensation group self-insurance program for municipalities and school districts throughout New York State.

An 18-year member of the association, Kenneally most recently served as chair-elect of the section. He also is a member of the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section.

Kenneally graduated from Albany Law School.

Online Community


Municipal Lawyer

The Municipal Lawyer features peer-written, substantive articles relating to the practice of municipal law on various topics including land use, zoning, ethics, and environmental issues. Edited by Prof. Mike Lewyn, the Municipal Lawyer is a publication of the Local and State Government Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and is distributed to Section members free of charge.

The Municipal Lawyer is published as a benefit for members of the Local and State Government Law Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

If you would like to submit an article for consideration please send an e-mail to [email protected]

Government, Law and Policy Journal

Each Government, Law and Policy Journal features peer-written substantive articles with a theme on a current issue of interest to government attorneys. Past themes have included NY Innovative Public Policy; Aging and Longevity; Renewable Energy; Civil Rights and Disabilities Law; Firearms, Public Safety and the Law; The Oversight Function: Guarding the Public Interest; New York State’s Budget; Beverage Alcohol Law: Regulation and Policy; Public Authority Reform; Freedom of Information Law; and Climate Change. Edited by Rose Mary K. Bailly, the Government, Law and Policy Journal is published twice per year and is available to Local, State and Government Law Section members free of charge.

The Journal is published as a benefit for members of the Local, State and Government Law Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association.

Author Guidelines

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


Citation for Special Achievement in Public Service

Purpose: The Citation for Special Achievement in Public Services recognizes a unique or outstanding achievement in furtherance of the public welfare made by an attorney in a governmental or non-profit legal service. Examples of outstanding achievement include:

  • leadership of, or a key role in, a particular project or initiative that is unique or innovative;
  • a significant contribution to the law, legal community or public good;
  • effecting a profound difference in improving service to the public.

Nomination Deadline: March 1, 2023

Date Award Presented: At the Local and State Government Law Section Spring Forum (Scheduled for May 5, 2023)

Award Criteria: Nominees shall be attorneys working in government or in non-profit legal services. Nominations must describe the achievement for which recognition is sought and how the attorney’s work in government or non-profit legal services influenced it or brought it about. The achievement should be unique, innovative, or otherwise make a significant contribution to the law, legal community or public good. These award criteria are meant to be as broad as possible within these guidelines to allow for many different types of contributions to be eligible.

Carol Van Scoyoc Scholarship

The Carol Van Scoyoc Scholarship has been established by the Foundation through a gift from the Local and State Government Law Section of the New York State Bar Association to honor the memory of Carol Van Scoyoc, Esq., a former chair of the Section and recipient of the Association’s Award for Excellence in Public Service, recognizing her extraordinary contributions to the legal profession and the public good.

Each year, a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a law student who best exemplifies the core values important to Carol: academic excellence, a demonstrated interest in public service and an interest in local government law.

2023 Award Winner

Christen MacconeChristen Maccone
Christen Maccone is a third-year law student at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, New York. At Pace, she is pursuing her Environmental Certificate alongside her J.D. At Pace, Christen serves as the Managing Editor of Pace Environmental Law Review. She has also served as Chair of the Jeffrey G. Miller National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (NELMCC) for the 2022 competition and as a Vice Chair for the 2023 competition.

In addition, Christen serves as the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Law Student Liaison, working to facilitate the SEER Bridge Program which pairs law students to practicing energy and environmental attorneys and provides law students with monthly educational and professional development programming, serving SEER’s Membership Service Group, and planning events for law students nationwide.

Christen has done several internships during her undergraduate and law school studies in all levels of government. Following graduation, Christen will be joining the 2023 entry class for the New York City Law Department. In her free time, Christen enjoys kayaking, hiking, and painting.

2021 Award Winner

Catherine Larrabee

Catherine Larrabee is a 2L at New York University Law School. Catherine’s career interests lie in civil enforcement at the state and local government levels. Catherine has interned at the New York and California AGs’ Offices, working on issues of civil rights and workers’ rights. She is a staff editor on NYU’s Moot Court Board and serves on the boards of the Public Interest Law Students Association and the Law & Government Society.

Donations to the Scholarship Fund may be made through the NY Bar Foundation Donation page by choosing under the available Funds/Select Funds, the “Restricted Funds: Local & State Gov. Van Scoyoc Fund” option from the drop down menu.

Carol Van Scoyoc

Carol Van Scoyoc was an extraordinarily gifted lawyer who dedicated her career to public service. An icon of the profession, Ms. Van Scoyoc represented the highest standards for excellence in the practice of law, ethical conduct and dedication to the public good that all lawyers aspire to. Ms. Van Scoyoc passed away in 2017 at the age of 56 after a long, courageous battle with cancer.

Born in 1960, Ms. Van Scoyoc was a summa cum laude graduate of Manhattan College, where she served as the first woman president of the St. Thomas More Law Society, and received a JD from Pace University Law School. She began her legal career in the Westchester County Attorney’s Office, rising to the position of Assistant Chief Deputy County Attorney. During her ten year tenure, she served as counsel in over 150 reported cases, including In the Matter of Westchester County Medical Center (Mary O’Connor) 72 N.Y. 2d 517 (1988), a landmark Court of Appeals decision that resulted in major changes to New York’s health care proxy forms in order to protect the mentally incapacitated. In another highly significant matter, U.S. v. O’Rourke, 943 F.2d 180 (2d. Cir. 1991), Ms. Van Scoyoc saved Westchester County taxpayers $5,000,000 when she successfully argued that the County had complied with its agreement to close the Croton Landfill because of pollution to the Hudson River. Beginning in 1995, for 22 years until her death, Ms. Van Scoyoc served as the Chief Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of White Plains where her consummate research, drafting and litigation skills helped mold and shape the landscape of the City during a construction boom.

A leader and role model to the bar, in 2011 Ms. Van Scoyoc was elected as only the third woman President of the Westchester County Bar Association in its 115 year history. She also served as Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association and was the Editor in Chief of the Westchester County Bar Journal. At the time of her passing, Ms. Van Scoyoc was serving as Chair of the Local and State Government Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, having previously served for many years on the Section’s Executive Committee. In 2012, Ms. Van Scoyoc received the Award for Excellence in Public Service presented by the New York State Bar Association Committee on Attorneys in Public Service.

Committed to training the next generation of public officials, for 15 years Ms. Van Scoyoc served as an Adjunct Professor at the Pace Graduate School of Public Administration. Hundreds of graduate students benefitted from Ms. Van Scoyoc’s knowledge, passion, and unwavering commitment to public service.

Ms. Van Scoyoc’s passion for the law was matched only by her love of family. Her professional acumen and excellence were only surpassed by her dedication to loved ones and friends and her kindness to all people. A devoted daughter, sister, sister-in-law and aunt, she lovingly cared for her parents and delighted in spending time with her extended family.

Blessed with a brilliant mind and beautiful spirit, Ms. Van Scoyoc touched, inspired, and enriched the lives of all who knew her. Her wisdom, integrity and perspective left an indelible mark on the governments and the people she served.

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