Ten Things You Don’t Know About NYSBA President Richard Lewis

By Rebecca Melnitsky

June 1, 2023

Ten Things You Don’t Know About NYSBA President Richard Lewis


By Rebecca Melnitsky

You may think you know Richard Lewis. But there are some things you may not know about him. Here are ten little-known facts about the new president of the New York State Bar Association.

1. He’s played hockey with pro players Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita – in a charity game in Canada. Lewis has played hockey in men’s leagues for years. “I started playing when I got out of law school,” said Lewis. “And I’ve played ever since.”

Stan Mikita, Richard Lewis and Bobby Hull

2. Lewis used to run marathons. “When I had knees,” he said. (He has had five knee surgeries). His best time was about three hours. He also used to ski, even taking trips to Colorado. “I used to ski a lot a lot, and then I had kids,” said Lewis. “And they became pretty good skiers. But then all of the sudden, they discovered basketball, and that ended skiing for all of us.”

3. Lewis’ favorite subject in high school was chemistry.

4. The legal profession runs in the family. Lewis’ younger daughter, Anna, is a legal assistant at his firm while his older daughter, Emily, is a first-year associate in Washington, D.C. However, Lewis said he did not encourage or discourage her from choosing to become a lawyer. “I did say it’s a lot of pressure,” said Lewis. “And you’ve grown up in my house, and you understand what it’s like to be an insomniac, and what it’s like to go through what you go through when you try a case.”

Richard Lewis and his daughters, Anna and Emily, and wife Lori

5. Lewis first got involved with the New York State Bar Association through his local bar. When he was president of the Broome County Bar Association, he was invited to speak at the Bar Center. Walking around, he was impressed by association programs, including a mock intervention. “I was not aware at that time how badly alcoholism was affecting lawyers,” he said. “I watched this mock intervention, and I was overwhelmed. When I saw that program and a few other programs, I became interested in getting involved.”

6. Lewis has an eclectic taste in music – he listens to jazz, country and opera. His first concert: the Temptations in Florida. “We saw the sign, we got the tickets, and we went,” Lewis said.

7. Lewis is a general practitioner. He said it has given him a broad perspective and helped him understand different areas of law.

8. Lewis did not go to his law school graduation at John Marshall Law School in Chicago because he was already back at home in Binghamton studying for the New York State bar exam and the Illinois State Bar Exam, which he took in the same week.

9. Lewis once rode in an elevator with Stevie Wonder at a hotel in New York City.

10. On what he’s looking forward to as president: “Some of the people I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years have just been phenomenal and become friends,” said Lewis. “And I don’t use the term ‘friends’ loosely. I think that it’s been a great experience and there’s a lot of commonality that any profession has with their fellow professionals. I’ve been really lucky to meet some incredible people, and that’s what I’m looking forward to continuing.”

Richard Lewis and his daughter on the ice.

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