New York State Bar Association Honors Rochester Attorneys

By Brendan Kennedy

January 15, 2021

New York State Bar Association Honors Rochester Attorneys


By Brendan Kennedy

Two Rochester-based attorneys will be honored by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) during its annual meeting next week.

Leon T. Sawyko (Harris Beach) will receive the Real Property Law Section’s Attorney Professionalism Award on Jan. 21 and Heather Neu, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, has been named the Young Lawyers Section Outstanding Young Lawyer and will be honored on Jan. 27.

The Real Property Law Section honors an outstanding individual real estate practitioner who possesses an outstanding level of legal ability and achievement, civility and appreciation for others in his practice while mentoring younger attorneys.

Sawyko spent his 45-year legal career at Harris Beach until his retirement in 2014. His practice involved all aspects of purchase, sale and financing of real property. In addition, he has extensive experience in condominium and homeowner association filings, while also representing real estate developers, not-for-profits, and business corporations.

He has been a member of the section’s executive committee for over 25 years, having previously chaired the development, financing and not-for-profit committees. He is the co-chair of the legislation committee and previously served as chair of the Real Property Law Section from 2014 to 2015.

The Young Lawyers Section honors a young lawyer that has rendered outstanding service to both the community and legal profession and has actively practiced law for less than 10 years with a distinguished record of commitment to the finest traditions of the Bar through public service and professional activities.

Neu, a 2010 graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, is a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, where she manages matrimonial, family offense and support and custody cases for domestic violence survivors. She is also the creator and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that educates over 80 Legal Aid employees in diversity, inclusion and cultural competence.

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting tradition. The all-virtual 144th Annual Meeting, which will run from Jan. 19 to 29, will focus on more than 65 different topics each day. Subjects include Employment Litigation in the Wake of COVID-19, Conducting a Jury Trial in the Shadow of COVID-19, State Tax Implications From the Pandemic and Vaccines: Legal Mandates and Challenges.

The Presidential Summit on Wednesday, Jan. 27, will look at the COVID-19 Pandemic: Legal, Constitutional, and Public Health Issues.  One of the nation’s top constitutional law scholars, Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law, and Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician, public health activist, author, academic, and advisor will speak at the event.

Other featured speakers at the Annual Meeting include Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here.

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, the Association 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: Brendan Kennedy
[email protected]

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