A Message from your Chair, Michael L. Fox, Esq.
Dear Young Lawyers Section member:
Welcome to the 2012-2013 term of the NYSBA Young Lawyers Section
(YLS) – our 74th year! This will be an exciting
year and as always we have plenty of social, educational and networking
opportunities for you. You will want to be in Albany on
October 18-19, 2012 for the YLS Fall Meeting. Lisa R.
Schoenfeld, Esq., YLS Chair-Elect, is putting together a great program
and it will be our second formal meeting of the term – given that
we held our first program of the term, the Supreme Court Admissions
Program, in Washington, D.C., June 10-11, 2012. General William K.
Suter, Clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court, was our keynote speaker at the
Sunday dinner; and NYSBA President Seymour James, Esq. moved the
admission of our admittees before the Court. After the admission
ceremony, we were honored to have Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and
Justice Sonia Sotomayor spend time speaking with our group in the
Courthouse’s East Conference Room.
January 2013 brings in the New Year and also the New York State
Bar Association (NYSBA) Annual Meeting. We will be in New York
City from January 23-25, 2013 for our half-day CLE and Section
meeting on Wednesday, January 23 (CLE Chaired by Erica M. Hines, Esq.),
and our annual two-day Bridge-the-Gap program on Thursday and Friday,
January 24-25, 2013 (CLE Co-Chaired by Erin Flynn, Esq. and Alena
We are planning to hold the Fourth Annual Young Lawyers Section Trial
Academy at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, New York, for five days in
March 2013, so keep your eyes open for more exciting details about
that program. The Trial Academy is the cure for the inexperienced
attorney because it provides an opportunity to become familiar with the
courtroom, its procedures and decorum, as well as trial practice and
skills. The Academy teaches hands-on practice of matters at the
heart of trying cases, including voir dire,
opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing
arguments. Experienced practitioners and judges from across the State
share their expertise as lecturers and critique faculty
members. Mark your calendars!
The YLS will also be heading back to Washington D.C. in June
2013, for our United States Supreme Court Admissions Program.
This year, NYSBA President Seymour James, Esq., has numerous
projects and initiatives that members can become involved with. We
encourage all YLS members to be active in our Association, and to help
further its goals and projects.
We are also pleased to announce that most of our Executive Committee
positions have been filled. Some vacancies do exist, however, for
District Representatives and Section Liaisons. If you or someone
you know is interested in becoming more involved with YLS, please
contact me or one of the other Officers to discuss the potential of
their taking a position on the Executive Committee.
Our Section publications, Electronically-In-Touch
and Perspective, are always in need of great
articles. Please consider drafting a submission for either
or both. All of our District Representatives, Committee Chairs and
Section Liaisons have been asked to submit at least one article during
the course of their 2012-2013 term, concerning a substantive legal
issue, or a program or event. But, we also welcome articles from
our general YLS membership, as well as from non-YLS attorneys.
One of my initiatives this term was to amend the Section’s
By-Laws so they are updated, and to resolve internal
inconsistencies. The new By-Laws Committee is chaired by our
Treasurer, Sarah Gold, Esq., and we have made great progress
already. The amended By-Laws have been voted on and passed by one
Executive Committee meeting, in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2012.
A second consecutive vote, needed before implementation can be
accomplished, will be scheduled for summer or fall 2012. After
that, the YLS By-Laws will go to the State Bar Association’s
Executive Committee for final approval.
A second big initiative for this year is my creation of a YLS Civics
Poster/Essay Contest – one answer to the call of the ABA and NYSBA
for encouragement of better civics knowledge and education for our
students and citizenry. I have appointed a Special Committee of
YLS charged with developing, organizing and running the contest.
For the start, only several Judicial Districts across the State will be
involved. The contest will be open to high school students
studying U.S. History and Government, with monetary prizes for the top
three essays and the top three posters in the State. YLS is
fortunate to currently have an anonymous donor who has pledged financial
support for the program. The Co-Chairs of the Committee are Erica
M. Hines, Esq., YLS 4th District Co-Representative and
Michele L. Babcock, Esq., YLS 9th District
Co-Representative. Our goal will be to have the submissions
received and judged, with award announcements ready, before YLS’
75th Anniversary celebration – presently scheduled for
spring/summer 2013. More information will be forthcoming.
Finally, another of my initiatives is to increase our Section
membership not only beyond 4,000 members, but hopefully closer to 5,000
members. We are currently the fourth largest Section of the State
Bar out of 25 Sections. Last year YLS crossed the 4,000 member
threshold, but following the membership dues and “drop”
period, we fell below 4,000 and are now just over 3,725 members.
We need to emphasize to our colleagues who are not YLS members the great
benefits of being a member of our Section, so that we not only obtain
new members but also retain them for years. I am asking each
member of the Section to recruit just one new YLS member this
term. If accomplished, that alone would put us over 7,400
Should you have any questions, or wish to know more about the New
York State Bar Association or the Young Lawyers Section, please go the
State Bar’s website, www.nysba.org, or feel free to contact me
at email@example.com, our Staff Liaison Tiffany
Bardwell, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any of our YLS
Officers or Executive Committee members. Our other Officers this
term are: Lisa R. Schoenfeld, Esq., Chair-Elect; Sarah E. Gold, Esq.,
Treasurer; Jason M. Clark, Esq., Secretary; and James R. Barnes, Esq.,
Immediate Past Chair.
Thank you for being a member of our Section. This should be a
busy, fun and exciting year!
Michael L. Fox, Esq. Section Chair
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 FX: (518) 487-5517