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January 26, 2010

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP GROWS TO MORE THAN 77,000

Providing Valuable Services, Developing Timely Resources to Assist Lawyers Affected by the Tough Economy Leads to an Increase in Members Joining the Largest Voluntary State Bar in the Nation

The New York State Bar Association announced today that its membership has topped 77,000, growing last year by nearly one-and-a-half percent -- or more than 1000 members. The current membership increase represents the sixth consecutive yearly increase, dating back to 2004.

State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City) attributed the increase to a sustained commitment by State Bar leaders and staff to membership recruitment and retention, high quality continuing legal education (CLE) programs that cover relevant and important topics, new and expanded resources to assist lawyers during the current fiscal crisis, increased focus on advocacy for the Bar's legislative priorities at the state and the federal levels, and efforts that support the right of access to justice and the ability of the lawyers to practice law.

Getnick cited a number of specific factors that contributed to the State Bar Association's recent - and sustained - growth:

Ø      A series of Webcasts to help lawyers during this difficult economy, covering such topics as interviewing, resume-writing, and effective use of social media applications to find employment.

Ø      In-depth research conducted by the State Bar to identify and respond to ever-changing member needs.

Ø      Successful efforts to recruit non-US attorneys who practice in New York and the related growth of the State Bar's International Section, which consists of chapters in approximately 50 different nations worldwide, including China, India and Russia.

Ø      Continual upgrades of the Web site to improve access for members with special needs.

Ø      The addition to the Web site of new resources for solo and small firm practitioners.

Ø      Expanded dissemination of the latest information on membership benefits, including new health and dental insurance.

Ø      Greater networking and professional development opportunities for attorneys who get involved in the Association.

"I have been a member of the State Bar Association for nearly 40 years, and I know of no other organization that offers the vast array of benefits, professional networking and leadership opportunities, and genuine collegiality that this Association offers its members," said President Getnick. "The fact that our membership grew by more than 1,000 members during the last year, despite an historic downturn in the economy that has negatively impacted the legal profession, speaks volumes about the tremendous value that membership in our Association provides. I want to commend our management team under the direction of Executive Director Patricia Bucklin and our Membership Committee under the guidance of Claire Gutekunst for their extraordinary efforts in marking another successful year."

Claire Gutekunst (Proskauer Rose LLP), chair of the State Bar's Membership Committee, added, "Reaching 77,000 members is indeed a tremendous accomplishment that reflects the Association's continued efforts to provide valuable benefits and career enhancement services to our membership. With members based in all 50 states and 108 countries around the globe, the State Bar Association remains a recognized leader throughout the world as an excellent resource for attorneys and the legal profession. I want to thank the Membership Department and the Association's many sections and committees for their hard work and dedication that led to this resounding success."

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Founded in 1876, the 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years. For more information, visit us at our Web site at www.nysba.org.