New York State Bar Association President Hank Greenberg and Young Lawyers Section Chair Lauren Sharkey are featured in the March-April issue of the American Bar Association’s Bar Leader magazine.
They are quoted in the article “Deep in Debt, Seeking Meaningful Involvement: Bars try new value propositions for young lawyers,” written by Robert J. Derocher.
The article takes a look at the reasons why fewer young lawyers are joining bar associations and discusses ways bars are trying to win them back. Reasons include law school student debt and the decline in employers paying for memberships.
The article mentions NYSBA’s recent victory in getting all mental health-related questions removed from the state bar application and the large role the association’s Young Lawyers Section played in making that a reality.
“We’re going to be doing more of that that kind of work, bringing the YLS into the deliberative process,” Greenberg said in the article. “We’re creating positions and opportunities for them to make policy that’s relevant to their lives.”
Sharkey agreed, noting that their involvement in getting the mental health question removed from the bar application “really energized us, more so than I’ve seen in the past.”
Greenberg is further quoted in the article discussing how that was just one part of attracting younger members. Other ways include NYSBA’s new website, increased live streaming of events, a greater social media presence and better internal analytics as to what members want.
“Our entire approach to communications has been dramatically changed and improved. Now, we have real-time posting of data to members, and we’re pushing out content in real time,” Greenberg said. “Understanding their reality means that we need to meet them where they live, not where we—as 50-something attorneys—live. And they live in digital places.”