President-Elect Candidate Statement: Kathleen M. Sweet
I submit this as my declaration of candidacy for the office of President-Elect. My candidacy is derived from my gratitude to the profession I have been fortunate to enjoy for 30 years. I am enthusiastic about the challenge and eager to serve.
I am a proud graduate of Boston College and Villanova Law School. I am a partner at Gibson, McAskill & Crosby, LLP in Buffalo, where my practice is devoted to representing medical professionals.
I was a fairly passive member of the Association for a long time, but ten years ago I became a member of the House of Delegates as President-Elect of the Bar Association of Erie County. Serving in the House of Delegates, I developed deep admiration and respect for the leaders of our Association, and I am in awe of the wide range of good work the Association does. I have always believed that the primary aim of a bar association should be to support its members, the legal community, and the administration of justice. That said, I also understand the Association’s responsibility to consider “bigger issues,” when there are threats to the rule of law or democracy itself.
Diversity matters to me. I am the first and only woman to serve on our law firm’s management committee, and we are very intentional about promoting and advancing diversity. We know that we can and must strive to do better, and that our workplace is enriched by having a diversity of perspectives, experiences and backgrounds represented. When I led the Bar Association of Erie County as President I insisted that the Minority Bar Association of Western New York be included as our co-sponsor and co-host for major events.
My priorities as a leader of the New York State Bar Association would include strong support of the Strategic Planning Committee in completing its mission to provide a framework for the Association’s future success and a guide for measuring our progress. Also important, as always, is expanding membership. I am intrigued by the subscription model recently developed by the Membership Committee; there will surely be robust discussion about it at the next meeting of the House of Delegates.
I believe I have significant relevant experience for the position. I am the elected Vice President for the Eighth Judicial District and serve on the Executive Committee. I have served two terms in the House of Delegates since 2011 and I have been a member of the Nominating Committee. I have been appointed to various Presidential Task Forces, including President Lewis’ new Task Force on Advancing Diversity.
I look forward to appearing before the Nominating Committee and answering any questions the Committee members may have.