NYSBA Launches Task Force To Help Shape the Future of the Legal Profession

By Susan DeSantis

NYSBA Launches Task Force To Help Shape the Future of the Legal Profession

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The New York State Bar Association is launching a Task Force on the Post-Pandemic Future of the Profession to study how the practice of law has changed dramatically as a result of COVID-19 and to suggest new ways of doing business that would benefit the entire legal community – from law school students and new attorneys to experienced practitioners and clients.

“The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives and as all the science appears to indicate that COVID will be with us for some time – perhaps forever – we must adjust to this new reality,” said T. Andrew Brown, president of the New York State Bar Association. “We cannot sit idly by and wait for things to change, but instead must determine the best course forward. It’s up to us as the largest voluntary statewide bar association, with members across the nation and the globe, to learn from this experience and help determine how the legal profession can successfully operate in the future.”

The task force will be divided into four working groups: New Lawyers and Law Students, Attorney-Client Relations, Access to Justice, and Law Practice Management and Technology. The working groups will study how the practice of law has already changed and try to envision what the future might hold.

“The pandemic has upended how we manage our practices, interact with clients and deliver legal services,” said John Gross, co-chair of the task force and a partner at Ingerman Smith. “It has also touched every aspect of our professional development from education to training to mentorship. But now we must decide if the changes in how we practiced law during the pandemic enhanced the delivery of quality services to our clients – or are we and our clients better off leaving those changes behind.”

“It is up to us to systematically review both the short-term and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the legal profession and the practice of law,” said Mark Berman, co-chair of the task force and a partner at Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer. “We will study how effective virtual courts have been, how well the technology has performed and how best in the future to serve clients remotely with an emphasis on making recommendations to safeguard and strengthen the future of the legal profession.”

Each working group will hold a public forum to gather information on its area of expertise:

  • New Lawyers and Law Students, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 3. To register, click here.
  • Law Practice Management and Technology, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9. To register, click here.
  • Attorney-Client Relations, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. To register, click here
  • Access to Justice, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. To register, click here.

Eileen D. Millett, counsel at the state Office of Court Administration; and Susan L. Harper, managing director for New York and New Jersey for the Bates Group; will chair the Attorney-Client Relations Working Group. Frederick K. Brewington, a solo practitioner; and Joseph A. Rosenberg, professor of law at the CUNY School of Law; supervising attorney, Main Street Legal Services; and co-director of the Disability & Aging Justice Center; will chair the Access to Justice Working Group.

Karen Greve Milton, executive deputy inspector general and chief of staff for the MTA Inspector General; and Anne B. Sekel, a partner at Foley & Lardner; will chair the Law Practice Management and Technology Working Group. James R. Barnes, a shareholder at Burke & Casserly; and Leslie Garfield Tenzer, James D. Hopkins Professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Pace University; will chair the New Lawyers and Law Students Working Group.

Other members of the task force are:

Harvey B. Besunder, a named partner at Margolin Besunder

Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers, a judge on the Appellate Division, Second Department

Clare Degnan, executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County

Veronica Nechele Dunlap, director of New York Programs at Pro Bono Net

Timothy J. Fennell, a senior partner at Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell and Wallen

Evan Maurice Goldstick, an associate at Steptoe and Johnson

Lindsay V. Heckler, supervising attorney at the Center for Elder Law & Justice

Evan H. Krinick, the managing partner for Rivkin Radler

Erica L. Ludwick, managing attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York

Thomas Maligno, director of pro bono at Touro Law School and executive director of the W. Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center

Kelly Ilene McGovern, director of pro bono affairs at LawNY

Natalie Pagano, an associate at Burner Law Group

Kimberly Wolf Price, attorney professional development director and diversity officer at Bond, Schoeneck & King

Kevin Joseph Quaratino, an associate at Foley & Lardner

Lauren E. Sharkey, a partner at Cioffi Slezak Wildgrube

Natasha Shishov, principal law clerk to the Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, Appellate Division, First Department

Ryan M. Torino, a named partner in Torino & Bernstein

New York City Civil Court Judge Kathleen C. Waterman

Jeffrey T. Zaino, vice president Commercial Division at the American Arbitration Association

Simeon H. Baum, president of Resolve Mediation Services, will be assisting the task force.

About the New York 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 and others through advocacy and guidance.

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Contact: Susan DeSantis
[email protected]
201-575-5756

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