President Seymour W. James, Jr.
Seymour W. James, Jr., of New York City, took office on June 1,
2012, as the 115th president of the 77,000-member New York State
James is the attorney-in-charge of the Criminal Practice of The Legal
Aid Society in New York City. In that capacity, he is responsible for
the Society’s trial, parole revocation and appellate criminal
Active in the State Bar since 1978, James most recently served for
the past year as the Bar Association’s president-elect. As
president-elect, James chaired the House of Delegates and co-chaired the
President’s Committee on Access to Justice. He previously served
three terms as treasurer.
He is a member of its House of Delegates, the Finance Committee, the
Membership Committee, and the Special Committee on Strategic Planning.
Within the Criminal Justice Section, James serves as a member-at-large
of its Executive Committee.
He served as the vice president for the 11th Judicial District from
2004–2008 and on numerous committees, including the Nominating
Committee, the Special Committee on Association Governance, the
Committee on Legal Aid, the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service,
the Task Force on Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary, and the
Committee on Diversity and Leadership Development. He is a Fellow of the
New York Bar Foundation.
James is a past president of the Queens County Bar Association and
has served on its Judiciary Committee. He serves as a member of the
board of directors for the New York State Defenders Association and as a
member of the Defender Policy Group of the National Legal Aid and
Defender Association. He also is a member of the Macon B. Allen
Black Bar Association and a former member of the Board of Directors of
the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.
A resident of Brooklyn, James received his undergraduate degree from
Brown University and earned his law degree from Boston University School
of Law. He is married to Cheryl E. Chambers, a judge in the Appellate
Division, 2nd Department.