New York State Bar Association Appoints Strategic Planning Committee To Envision the Future

By Brandon Vogel

April 2, 2022

New York State Bar Association Appoints Strategic Planning Committee To Envision the Future


By Brandon Vogel

To secure NYSBA’s continued preeminent position in influencing and driving change in the law and the legal profession, a new committee on strategic planning has been established.

President T. Andrew Brown made the announcement at Saturday’s House of Delegates meeting in New York City, which was the first meeting in the city since January 2020.

Brown described how NYSBA transformed its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We developed new ways to meet the needs of our members.  We reimagined the delivery of member services,” said Brown. “And in so many ways, we realized the purpose and potential of the association ‘to apply its knowledge and experience in the field of the law to promote the public good.’”

But, he said, there is much left to be done to move the association forward.

“We must ensure the full participation of our members in the activities, benefits, interests, and successes of the association – this is the key to our future,” said Brown. “

Taa R. Grays, NYSBA secretary and co-chair of the Task Force on Racism, Social Equity, and the Law, and Christopher R. Riano, Executive Committee member and chair of the LGBTQ Law Section, will chair the strategic planning committee.

Serving the public good

Brown noted the ongoing work of sections, committees, and task forces in addressing issues critical to the state and nation, such as racism, social equity, voting rights and the treatment of transgender youth in sports.

“Support for disenfranchised communities has been a hallmark of my professional career and at the heart of my initiatives as your president,” said Brown. “I am immensely proud of the efforts of NYSBA to confront societal challenges, address access to justice head on, and develop recommendations for changes in law and policy that will provide equal rights to all and truly help us form ‘a more perfect union.’”

As an example, he cited the Executive Committee’s approval of the Clean Slate Act, which, if enacted into law, would provide for the automatic sealing of certain criminal records.

“This is one simple step we can take to confront the pervasive problem of racial injustice in the criminal justice system,” said Brown.

In both the State Legislature and in Congress, the association is lobbying vigorously for its legislative priorities including the long overdue increase to 18b rates, repeal of Judiciary Law 470, development of sensible gun control legislation, enactment of a right to counsel in immigration proceedings, and, the implementation of the Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s court simplification plan.

He thanked the many solo and small-firm lawyers who donated time to pro bono services over the year including unemployment insurance matters, Afghan refugees, New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Ida, and residents affected by the housing crisis.

New ways of member engagement
Brown spoke about the new and exciting ways to engage NYSBA members such as remote events, virtual public forums, CLE webinars, and hybrid meetings like today’s House of Delegates.

“As we gradually return to in-person events, we cannot forget the ease by which technology allows us to connect with so many more attorneys than before – and we have an obligation to our members and the public to ensure that our association remains as accessible as possible,” said Brown.

Brown concluded by issuing a challenge to members to seize the moment and work to build a better NYSBA for the good of the association, the members and the state.

The time is now to plan for the future, and we must immediately get to work, Brown said.

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