U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Surprises NYSBA Young Lawyers With a Visit Ahead of Their Admissions Ceremony

By Jennifer Andrus

May 24, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Surprises NYSBA Young Lawyers With a Visit Ahead of Their Admissions Ceremony


By Jennifer Andrus

More than two dozen young lawyers from the New York State Bar Association were honored by a visit from Chief Justice John Roberts before their admission ceremony to the Supreme Court Bar.  The Chief Justice attended a breakfast at the U.S. Supreme Court prior to the ceremony. Roberts talked about his roots as a native of Buffalo and described the history of the Supreme Court building, its artwork and architecture.

“I am a proud American and I’ve had non-stop chills ever since,” said NYSBA member Janine Materna. “Being able to meet Chief Justice Roberts was amazing, it was surreal. Thank you to NYSBA for giving us this wonderful opportunity.”

Materna, who is both the deputy chief of compliance at the MTA and a solo practitioner, was inspired by her late father and her sister to join the Supreme Court Bar.

“It was a great thing to do for my future,” she said. “You never know where it might lead and with a background in litigation, it was an honor to join the Supreme Court Bar.”

New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis was thrilled to escort the group the U.S. Supreme Court and meeting Chief Justice Roberts was the highlight.

“He told us stories about the art, which depicts historic moments at the court. He shared stories of lesser-known former Chief Justices who were depicted in the artwork,” Lewis said. “The Chief Justice is very aware of his predecessors; it was extremely interesting.”

Following the breakfast, the group attended the court’s reading of decisions, which takes place each Thursday in May. Justices Samuel Alito and Ketanji Brown Jackson read opinions released by the high court that day. The Chief Justice then called on President Lewis to present and move the admission of the New York delegation to the Supreme Court Bar.

The group celebrated with a champagne luncheon at a hotel following the admissions ceremony with the new chair of the Young Lawyer’s Section, Jacob Petterchak, offering a toast. “It was great to see all sorts of young lawyers come out and participate,” he said. “We got to meet and mingle with people in many different areas of practice.”

An attorney wishing to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States must apply to do so. Applicants must be admitted to the bar of the highest court of their state for three years and must be sponsored by two attorneys already admitted to the Supreme Court bar.


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