President-Elect Candidate Statement: Sherry Levin Wallach
After more than 24 years of active leadership, it is my great honor to announce my candidacy for President-Elect of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) in the same year that we mark the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. This historic centennial offers us the opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today. The story of the suffrage movement, which included the leadership of women from many races and backgrounds, teaches us how real change happens. There are no shortcuts to success – it’s a hard fight that requires courage, collaboration and common goals.
Amid these unrivaled times and the rapidly changing legal environment, the NYSBA must continue its efforts to advance the profession in an increasingly competitive atmosphere. As a NYSBA officer, I have consulted with numerous members of our Association and attorneys in affiliated bar associations throughout the state on a broad range of issues. My candidacy is based on my conviction that I can be a strong voice for our members and the legal profession in New York State.
Having served the NYSBA in significant leadership positions, I have dedicated myself to the work of this Association driving through dialogue, leadership and action to fashion the State Bar’s response to important issues of the day including access to justice, criminal justice reform, and the current health crisis. Currently, I serve as NYSBA’s Secretary, chairing the Resolutions Committee and serving as an Executive Committee liaison to various committees. In this role, I regularly meet with the staff and other NYSBA officers on questions of policy and governance, maintain meeting minutes and NYSBA’s social media presence. This has given me an opportunity to have direct knowledge of the key issues facing the NYSBA and the demands of the presidency.
My legal career also gives me insight into the wealth of issues most relevant to a diverse association of attorneys. It has included both private law practice and public service. I served as a New York City prosecutor and then joined a mid-sized NYC Law Firm specializing in medical malpractice defense. After spending fifteen years running my own law firm, I joined the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County as its Deputy Executive Director. Through these professional experiences, I have developed into an effective advocate able to put our best case before the executive and legislative branches of government and the public.
While the path to leadership has no set roadmap, my professional accomplishments closely align with the role of the NYSBA presidency. Should I be fortunate enough to be elected the 125th President, building on the forward-thinking of my predecessors, I promise to serve the needs of our membership and the community at large; continue efforts to define NYSBA’s brand and value; optimize technology to deliver member value; and enhance diversity and inclusion throughout the Association and the legal profession.