ALBANY – Cynthia Feathers of Delmar has been appointed director of the Department of Pro Bono Affairs at the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), according to Executive Director Patricia K. Bucklin.
During the past four years, Feathers has served as criminal appellate counsel with the Center for Appellate Litigation, a not-for-profit organization that represents indigent criminal defendants before the Appellate Division, First Department (New York and Bronx) and the New York Court of Appeals.
“Cynthia brings a tremendous amount of talent, enthusiasm and experience as she assumes her new duties with NYSBA. She will be an asset to the Association in her work coordinating our advocacy efforts to promote voluntary legal services for the poor, helping to enhance the effectiveness of local bar association pro bono programs across the state, and working with the New York Pro Bono Coordinators’ Network,” said Bucklin.
After graduating from law school in 1987, Feathers clerked at the Appellate Division, Third Department, Albany, and then was as a litigation associate in the Albany law firm of DeGraff Foy Holt-Harris & Kunz, LLP before reentering public service in 1990. From 1990-1992, she served as an assistant attorney general in the appeals and opinions bureau. Feathers then spent six years as a solo appellate practitioner, handling civil appeals for numerous upstate New York trial attorneys. During that time, she also served as assigned counsel (18-B) for Family Court and criminal appeals.
Feathers received her undergraduate degree with honors from Northwestern University (1976), majoring in journalism. She earned her law degree with honors from Boston College Law School (1987). Prior to entering law school, she served as a writer and editor at the Gillette Company, Boston and the Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago.
Established in 1991, the mission of the state bar's Department of Pro Bono Affairs is to help make legal services more accessible for the poor and disadvantaged. These efforts are especially significant in light of congressional proposals to drastically reduce federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which provides funds to pro bono programs throughout the state. In addition to the department, the NYSBA has several committees that work to make the legal system available to low-income people, including the President's Committee on Access to Justice.
Feathers has three children, a son, 21, and two daughters, 20 and 15.
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