Member Spotlight: Edwina Frances Martin

By Brandon Vogel

Member Spotlight: Edwina Frances Martin

12.23.2021

By Brandon Vogel

Membership Portraits

Why did you become a lawyer?
My parents taught my siblings and I as we were growing up that a life well lived is a life in service to others. They grew up in a segregated world, with limited opportunities, and they worked hard to change society so that their children would have the world opened to them. My purpose in life has been to do the same, and I made the decision to attend law school, to be a “guardian of the law.”

What is it about public interest law that attracted you?
Public interest law and public service attracted me because, as a “guardian of the law,” I care passionately about the fair administration of justice.

You are actively involved with NYSBA and other bar associations and organizations. How come and how do you find the time?
After graduating from law school and completing judicial clerkships, I began my career in the litigation department of a large, white shoe law firm. One day, a partner in the department asked if I would be willing to join the Legal Referral Service Committee of the New York City Bar Association. I am forever grateful to him for that invitation because it opened up the doors to other opportunities in the city bar, the state bar, women’s bar, etc. I love bar service because of the people you can meet and become friends with from across the state, the many writing and leadership development opportunities you may not have in a regular practice setting, the opportunities to explore different practice areas, the excellent training and CLE opportunities, and because I feel that by embracing bar leadership I am playing a (small) role in improving and uplifting the profession, and by extension, our communities.

In terms of finding the time, what can I say? You find the time for the things you care about. And you need to be focused and organized.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I dabble in the creative arts, making and designing a number of items in my house, and I’m currently working on my first art project in a number of years.

What is the best life lesson that you have learned?
To keep an open mind and be open to new experiences. I believe my personal and professional growth have blossomed when I have allowed myself to step outside of my comfort zone.

Lawyers should join the New York State Bar Association because . . .
…of the people, the opportunities for personal and professional growth, and because you never know where it could lead you to!

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