June 3, 2019: State Bar Takes Unprecedented Steps to Diversify Leadership

By Communications Department

June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019: State Bar Takes Unprecedented Steps to Diversify Leadership


By Communications Department

All 59 NYSBA Committees Will be Chaired, Co-Chaired or Vice-Chaired by Women, People of Color or Other Individuals Who Represent Diversity

New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) President Henry M. Greenberg announced today that all 59 NYSBA committee, task forces and working groups will be chaired, co-chaired or vice-chaired by women, people of color or other individuals who represent diversity.

“It is a moral imperative that our profession better reflects the diversity exemplified by our clients, and we can no longer accept empty rhetoric or half-measures to realize that goal,” Greenberg said. “It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and clients are increasingly demanding it.”

Greenberg also noted that NYSBA will develop and implement an association-wide diversity and inclusion plan in the coming year.

The cover of the soon-to-be-issued June-July NYSBA Journal is devoted to Greenberg’s diversity initiative, as is his President’s Message in the publication.

The following is excerpted from the Greenberg’s June-July NYSBA Journal President’s Message:

“The hard truth is that law is one of the least diverse professions in the nation. Our clients are women and men, straight and gay, of every race, color, ethnicity, national origin, and religion. Yet, the legal profession is not nearly as inclusive as the people we represent.

“Indeed, a diversity imbalance plagues law firms, the judiciary, and every other sphere where lawyers work.

“This state of affairs is unacceptable. It is a moral imperative that our profession better reflects the diversity of our clients and communities, and we can no longer accept empty rhetoric or half-measures to realize that goal. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and clients are increasingly demanding it.

“On diversity, the New York State Bar Association will lead by example. This year, through the presidential appointment process, all 59 NYSBA standing committees will have a chair, co-chair or vice-chair who is a woman, person of color, or otherwise represents diversity. To illustrate the magnitude of this initiative, we are celebrating it on the cover of the Journal.

“This coming year as well we will develop and implement an association-wide diversity and inclusion plan.

“In short, NYSBA is walking the walk on diversity.  For us, it is no mere aspiration, but rather, a living working reality.  Let our example be one that the entire legal profession takes pride in and seeks to emulate.”

cover of the June-July Journal can be viewed here.

Greenberg began his one-year term as NYSBA president on June 1.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

Contact: Dan Weiller
[email protected]

Pictures from the FRONT COVER

Row 1 (left to right)

Aviva Abramovsky, Chair, Task Force on Autonomous Cars and the Law; Dean, University at Buffalo School of Law

Cynthia Arato, Vice Chair, Special Committee on Free Expression in the Digital Age; Partner, Shapiro Arato Bach, New York City

T. Andrew Brown, Chair, Finance Committee; Founder and Managing Partner, Brown Hutchinson, LLP, Rochester, NY

Aleece Burgio, Co-chair, Committee on Cannabis Law; Senior Counsel, McGuire Development Co., Buffalo, NY

Ashlee Cartwright, Vice chair, Committee on Animals and the Law; Staff Attorney, Salvation Army, West Nyack, NY

Sally Curran, Co-chair, Committee on Legal Aid; Executive Director, Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc., Syracuse, NY

Gail Ehrlich, Vice chair, Committee on Law, Youth and Citizenship; Solo Practitioner and Pro Bono Attorney, Pace Family Court Legal Program, Westchester, NY

Cheryl Fisher, Co-chair, Committee on Civil Rights; Counsel, Magavern Magavern Grimm LLP, Buffalo, NY

Row 2

Erin Flynn, Chair, Committee on Lawyers in Transition; Associate, Clair & Gjertsen, Scarsdale, NY

Emily Franchina, Chair, Committee to Review Judicial Nominations; Principal, Franchina Law Group, Garden City, NY

Barbara Gillers, Co-chair, Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct; Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, New York City

Sarah Gold, Co-chair, Committee on Law Practice Management; Principal, Gold Law Firm, Albany, NY

Claire Gutekunst, Chair, Nominating Committee; Executive Director, Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert; Principal, Gutekunst ADR, Yonkers, NY

LaMarr Jackson, Chair, Committee on Mass Disaster Response; Solo Practitioner, Rochester, NY

Seymour James, Co-chair, Task Force on Parole Reform; Partner, Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, New York City

Shawndra Jones, Vice chair, Committee on Continuing Legal Education; Senior Counsel, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., New York City

Row 3

Cheryl Korman, Co-chair, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction; Partner, Rivkin Radler LLP, Uniondale, NY

Glenn Lau Kee, Chair, Committee on Association Structure and Operations; Partner, Lau-Kee Law Group PLLC, New York City

Bernice Leber, Chair, Committee on Annual Awards; Partner, Arent Fox, New York City

Susan Lindenauer, Co-chair, Committee on Families and the Law; New York City

Camille Mackler, Co-chair, Committee on Immigration Representation; Director of Legal Initiatives, New York Immigration Coalition, New York City

Edwina Frances Martin, Co-chair, President’s Committee on Access to Justice; Commissioner and Public Administrator, Richmond County, NY

Maria Matos, Co-chair, Working Group on Puerto Rico; Committee on Character and Fitness, New York City

Kelly McNamee, Vice chair, Committee on Communications and Publications; Associate, Greenberg Traurig, Albany, NY

Row 4

Hyun Suk Choi, Co-chair, Membership Committee; Member, Choi & Park LLC, New York City

Jessica Parker, Co-chair, Committee on Veterans; Regulatory Project Manager, Credit Suisse, New York City

Hon. Karen Peters, Chair, Committee on New York State Constitution; Chair, New York’s Permanent Commission on Justice for Children, Albany, NY

Margaret Phillips, Co-chair, Task Force on the Role of the Paralegals; Professor, Daemen College, Buffalo, NY

Hon. Helena Heath, Co-chair Committee on Leadership Development; Judge, Albany City Court, Albany, NY

Marian Rice, Co-chair, Committee on Law Practice Management; Partner, L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP, Garden City, NY

Sandra Rivera, Chair, Committee on State Legislative Policy; Principal, Rivera Law, PLLC, Albany, NY

Sarah Rogerson, Co-chair, Committee on Immigration Representation; Professor of Law, Albany Law School, Albany, NY

Row 5

Mirna Santiago, Chair, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion; Deputy Counsel, Acaia Network, Bronx, NY

Maryann Saccomando Freedman, Co-chair, Task Force on the Role of Paralegals; Of Counsel, Cohen & Lombardo, P.C., Buffalo, NY

Sheila Shea, Co-chair, Committee on Disability Rights; Director, Mental Hygiene Legal Services, Third Judicial Department, Albany, NY

Carol Sigmond, Vice chair, Committee on Committees; Partner, Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC, New York City

Soma Syed, Chair, Committee on Lawyer Referral; Principal, Soma Syed & Associates, Queens, NY

Vivian Wesson, Vice chair, Committee on Attorney Professionalism; Senior Assistant General Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Cos., New York City

Hon. Margaret Finerty, Co-chair, Task Force on Mass Shootings and Assault Weapons; Partner, Getnick & Getnick, New York City

Eileen Millett, Co-chair, Task Force on New York Bar Examination; Partner, Phillips Nizer LLP, New York City

Six diverse people sitting holding signs
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