Department of Governmental Relations

The New York State Bar Association’s Government Relations department is an integral part of the core mission and activities of the Association.  The department works closely with the Continuing Legal Education (CLE), press, and membership departments as well as the many Sections, Committees and Task Forces of the Bar.

The department interacts with the Executive and Legislative branches of state government in Albany, as well as Congress and the Administration in Washington, DC and advocates for the priorities of the Association.

The legislative priorities are developed in consultation, and with input from, the Legislative Policy Committee, Sections and Committees, and reports from Task Forces.  These priorities are then shared with elected officials in Albany and DC and the department works with their offices to advance relevant legislation.  In addition, the department assists in developing affirmative legislative proposals and tracking the introduction of bills important to the Bar’s members.


2021 Legislative Priorities

Legislative Updates

In March, the legislature turns its focus on the State Budget. The process begins in Janurary where the Governor announces and Executive Budget. The legislature will conduct hearings of various issues including, healthcare, transportation and public safety. Each chamber will release their own “one-house” budgets that reflect the budgetary priorities of each house. At the end of March, the legislature and the Executive will come to a consensus and pass a single budget bill to fund the state through the next Fiscal Year.

Traditionally, Legislation that has a fiscal impact will be addressed in the budget. Following approval of the Budget, the legislature will return in mid-April and work through on legislation through the first week in June.

The Governmental Relations Department will continue to inform members periodically of relevant legislative activity.

Legislative Resources

To provide our members with a comprehensive set of tools with which to stay informed about policy issues of importance to the practice of law, the Department of Governmental Relations has compiled the following resources:

Legislative Memoranda

Legislation and CLEs

Occasionally, the Department of Governmental Relations will collaborate on CLE programs explaining the impact of recently enacted legislation.

Association Press Releases


NYSBA’S Legislative Program

NYSBA offers several ways for its members to become active in the legislative process, whether by recommending a policy issue to be adopted as a NYSBA state or federal legislative priority or submitting memoranda commenting on the impact of legislation on the practice of law.

Additionally, the Association presents a series of affirmative legislative proposals to the State Legislature annually. Affirmative legislation is generally developed at the Section or Committee level and must receive the approval of the Association’s Executive Committee or the House of Delegates prior to introduction in the Legislature. The development of New York State Bar Association policy on major issues follows a similar pattern, although Sections and Committees may independently express their support for, or opposition to, legislation pending in the New York State Legislature and Congress.

The Department of Governmental Relations is located at the New York State Bar Center, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207. The Department is run by Director of Policy, Hilary Jochmans; Assistant Director of Governmental Relations, Adriel Colon-Casiano, and Governmental Relations Associate, Cheyenne Burke.

They Department may be reached at (518) 487-5518 or [email protected]