January 28, 2011


NEW YORK- The New York State Bar Association announced today that Seymour W. James, Jr., of New York (The Legal Aid Society), has been named president-elect of the 77,000-member organization. James was elected at the 134th Annual Meeting by the House of Delegates, the Association's decision and policy-making body. He will begin his one-year term as president on June 1, 2012.

Current President-Elect Vincent E. Doyle, III of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo LLP) will assume the office of president on June 1, 2011.

James, a resident of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, received his undergraduate degree from Brown University, and earned his law degree from the Boston University School of Law.

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 practice.

 Active in the State Bar since 1978, James has served as treasurer since June 2008. He is a member of the State Bar's House of Delegates, the Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, the President's Committee on Access to Justice and the Special Committee on Strategic Planning. Within the Criminal Justice Section, James serves as a member-at-large of its Executive Committee. He is a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation.

He previously served as the vice president for the Eleventh Judicial District from 2004-2008 and on numerous committees, including the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service, the Committee on Diversity and Leadership Development, the Committee on Legal Aid, the Nominating Committee, the Special Committee on Association Governance, and the Task Force on Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary.

James is a past president of the Queens County Bar Association and has served on a number of that association's entities, including its Judiciary Committee. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the New York State Defenders 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.

In addition to his bar association activities, James is a member of Chief Judge Lippman's  Justice Task Force, the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission, the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Second Judicial Department and the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the Second Judicial Department. He also serves as the secretary of the Correctional Association.

James has served as an adjunct professor of Law at CUNY Law School and on the faculty of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Intensive Trial Advocacy Program.

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. Founded in 1876, the State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for 135 years.