Contact: Mark Mahoney
Associate Director of Media Services
February 6, 2012
NEW YORKER JAMES R. SILKENAT TO LEAD AMERICAN BAR
ASSOCIATION IN 2013
The American Bar Association (ABA) today selected New York City attorney
James R. Silkenat to become its president-elect designee, putting him in
line to become the first New Yorker to lead the ABA in 25 years.
Silkenat, a partner at Sullivan & Worcester and an active leader
in the State Bar Association, was named president-elect designee during
the ABA's midyear meeting in New Orleans. He will become president-elect
When he takes office as president in August 2013, Silkenat will be
the 21st New Yorker to head the ABA. The two most recent were former
State Bar President Robert MacCrate, who was president of the ABA in
1987-88, and former State Bar President Lawrence Walsh, who was ABA
president in 1975-76.
"The ABA will be well served by Jim Silkenat's leadership skills and
his vigorous advocacy on behalf of the legal profession and justice
system," said New York State Bar President Vincent E. Doyle III of
Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo). "Jim possesses not only a deep
understanding of the law, but also an analytical mind, wisdom and a
great sense of humor."
The 410,000-member American Bar Association was founded in 1878 in
Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It is headquartered in Chicago.
Silkenat, a native of Salina, Kansas, has been heavily involved in
the activities of both the State Bar and the ABA for many years.
He joined the ABA in the mid-1970s as a delegate to China. He has
been a member of its House of Delegates since 1990 and was the New York
state delegate and chair of its delegation from 2000-09. He has chaired
the Nominating Committee, Steering Committee, Section Officers
Conference and International Law Section. He also served on the ABA
Commission on Women in the Profession since 2008.
In addition, Silkenat has chaired the ABA standing committees on
Membership, Constitution and Bylaws; the Latin American Legal
Initiatives Council and the ABA Museum of Law. He was co-founder of the
ABA Solo and Small Firm Leadership Coalition and currently chairs its
Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund for Minority Law Students Fundraising
At the State Bar, Silkenat has been a delegate to its House of
Delegates since 1998 and is a member of the International Section. He
also served on the Special Committee on Association Governance, as well
as the Membership and Nominating committees.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993