NYSBA’s Governing Body Holds Its First-Ever All-Virtual Meeting

By Christian Nolan

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In what is likely to become a model for other governing bodies and bar associations around the country, NYSBA’s House of Delegates held its first-ever all-virtual meeting on April 4.

The House of Delegates (HOD) meeting was held via videoconference with 207 members of the association’s governing body participating, the highest number of HOD participants in NYSBA’s history. From a technological perspective, the meeting went off without a hitch as members were able to express their views and engage in robust debate.

“While the state and nation are in the throes of a historic public health crisis, our voice has never been needed more than now,” said NYSBA President Henry M. Greenberg. “Last June we launched an all-out effort to complete construction of a ‘Virtual Bar Center’ – a digital platform where attorneys across the street and around the world are just a click away on their computer or smart phone from accessing NYSBA’s services and benefits. This meeting demonstrated the power and potential of that vision.”

President Greenberg’s remarks at the beginning of the meeting summarized the extraordinary breadth of services and information provided by NYSBA during the crisis. Click here to watch Greenberg’s address.

Following the success of NYSBA’s all-virtual meeting, other bar associations around the country have been reaching out for guidance. Due to the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency, the legal profession has had to embrace new technologies at a breathtaking pace in recent weeks, from dealing with court appearances via teleconference to arranging virtual document signings and notarizations.

Virtual Bar Center

NYSBA’s new website debuted just a few weeks before the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

The website is part of NYSBA’s new digital transformation, which includes the posting of breaking legal news to the website and social media platforms, increased live streaming of events, a greater social media presence and better internal analytics to better understand what members want.

As soon as the pandemic put New York “on pause,” NYSBA launched the Coronavirus Information Center on its website. Through the information center, NYSBA disseminates a continuous stream of e-mail alerts, real-time posts on social media, original news stories and podcasts on issues relating the coronavirus. NYSBA is also offering a record number of online CLE programs and webinars that address the unique legal issues arising from the crisis, with many offered for free to members.

Members will also notice that NYSBA is digitizing its archives and moving more content outside of paywalls, including the April issue of NYSBA’s Bar Journal

NYSBA will enhance its members’ experience through the acquisition of sophisticated e-commerce technology to make CLE registration and product purchases quick and easy.

Click here to watch NYSBA’s April 4 virtual House of Delegates meeting.

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