Serhiy Hoshovsky: “It’s a privilege to be part of such a great organization”
Serhiy Hoshovsky is a native of Ukraine and joined the New York State Bar Association 20 years ago while studying for his LLM at Fordham University School of Law. His New York City practice focuses on both domestic and international law. Hoshovsky is one of the co-chairs of the Ukraine Task Force in the International Section.
What was it like growing up in Ukraine under Soviet rule and practicing law in the early days of your country’s independence?
There was no law, no rights during the Soviet Union. After independence, we had to build a democratic system from the ground up. Everybody looked to the U.S. as a model. Companies had to figure out how to do business in the free market, so I chose business law to study in Ukraine. When I had the opportunity to come to study in the states, I was very excited to come here.
Your practice here in New York blends international law, dispute resolution and immigration law.
Many of our clients need help with both New York and international law. We folded immigration into our practice when our clients had so many questions about how to bring their employees here.
Does the war between Ukraine and Russia impact you personally?
Yes, many friends and colleagues in Ukraine joined the armed forces and are fighting on the front lines. We lost a couple of friends killed in battle this summer. It’s a very difficult, trying time. It’s so important for us to show our support for them in their struggle for freedom against aggression.
You are one of the driving forces behind the NYSBA Ukraine Task Force. How does that work help the cause?
We realized before the war that the legal community in Ukraine needed our support and established the task force in February 2022. After the invasion, the task force quickly switched gears to provide humanitarian relief and legal help to refugees leaving Ukraine. Many of our NYSBA members living in Europe took refugees into their homes. Others helped lawyers fleeing Ukraine with temporary housing and work opportunities.
Once things stabilized with refugees, we started doing what we do best – organizing events and advocating for the U.N. to establish a tribunal for the war of aggression. We also helped the Ukrainian Bar Association members by offering them support with a NYSBA membership at a reduced cost, since many Ukrainians could not afford to pay dues. I want to thank the leadership of the New York State Bar Association for being so supportive of Ukraine. It really shows that people care about the rule of law and that justice should prevail.
Why did you join NYSBA and what do you get out of the membership?
The International Section drew me to NYSBA when I came to New York over 20 years ago. Once I joined, I found interesting opportunities like the chapters we have in different countries around the world. NYSBA gives me a great opportunity to interact and network with attorneys from other countries, which has a lot of practical applications in my practice.
You should join the New York State Bar Association because …
It’s an institution that’s more than 140 years old with a long history of standing up for the rule of law. The New York State Bar Association has existed longer than many independent countries. You can be a part of the history, the legacy and the fight for the rule of law. It’s a great privilege and a great opportunity to be a part of such a great organization.