NYSBA Launches Task Force To Help Shape the Future of the Legal Profession
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.
Contact: Susan DeSantis