Senior Lawyers Home

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    Join the Senior Lawyers Section Today! Join with top legal practitioners in exploring issues surrounding career transition and planning, quality of life, continued professional development, finance and investment, and more.
  • Events
    • Free Program Archive: Planning for Children within the Autism Spectrum and Other Disabilities

      Senior Lawyers Section Members Only! (Free)

      Issues in Planning for Children within the Autism Spectrum and Diagnosed with Other Disabilities 
      Recorded February 9, 2015 | New York Hilton Midtown

      • Utilizing Special Needs Trusts (First Party and Self Settled) 
      • Education and School Issues Affecting Children With Disabilities 
      • Utilizing Article 17A and Article 81 Guardianships For Disabled Children 
      • Housing Issues For Disabled Children 
      • Medicaid/SSI/SSD Eligibility Issues for Disabled Children 


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      Note: this is a non-CLE recording.

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    • Free Program Archive: Considering Next Steps - Proactive Career and Life Planning for Baby Boomers

      Considering Next Steps: Proactive Career and Life Planning for Baby Boomers
      What Have You Done and What Can You Do to Make the Post Mid-Life Transition Easier

      Free archive webcast | Recorded May 19, 2014

      Walter Burke, Esq. (Burke & Casserly, P.C. (ret.), Albany, NY)
      Rosemary Byrne, Esq. (Step-By-Step Coaching LLC, Englewood, NJ)
      Stephen R. Stern, Esq. (Law Offices of Stephen R. Stern, P.C., Melville, NY)
      Andra Moss (International Senior Lawyers Project)

      Co-Sponsored by the Senior Lawyers Section and the Committee on Lawyers in Transition

      View Program Video

  • About

    As people are living and working longer, the definition of what it means to be a senior continues to evolve. The demographics affect us all, including lawyers. Senior lawyers currently make up 25 percent of the Association’s membership, and include those who continue to work full time at law firms or in solo practices, as well as those who opt for part-time employment opportunities or donate pro bono services in their communities. In July 2006, the New York State Bar Association formed a special committee to recognize such lawyers and the unique issues that they face. As the result of the work of this committee, in 2008, the House of Delegates approved creation of the first Senior Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association.

    Meet the Chair
    Carole A. Burns, Esq.

    Executive Committee Roster

    Senior Lawyers Section Profile

    Lawyers who are age 55 or older have valuable experience, talents, and interests. Many such senior lawyers are considering or have already decided whether to continue to pursue their full-time legal careers or whether to transition to a new position, a reduced time commitment at their current position and/or retirement from a full-time legal career. Accordingly, the Senior Lawyers Section has been created and charged with the mission of:

    • Providing opportunities to senior lawyers to continue and maintain their legal careers as well as to utilize their expertise in such activities as delivering pro bono and civic service, mentoring younger lawyers, serving on boards of directors for business and charitable organizations, and lecturing and writing;
    • Providing programs and services in matters such as job opportunities; CLE programs; seminars and lectures; career transition counseling; pro bono training; networking and social activities; recreational, travel and other programs designed to improve the quality of life of senior lawyers; and professional, financial and retirement planning; and
    • Acting as a voice of senior lawyers within the Association and the community

    Scope of Activities

    The Senior Lawyers Section seeks to address such issues as:

    • Career continuity
    • Career changes
    • The desire and opportunity to:
      • Render pro bono service
      • Serve on boards
      • Mentor other attorneys
      • Take CLE courses relevant to seniors
    • Social activities for seniors

    2013-2014 Annual Report to the Membership

    The meaning of “senior” is not what it once was. As people are living and working longer, the traditionally “sunset years” are becoming less static and more active and individualized. The Senior Lawyers Section seeks to serve attorneys aged 55 and older in helping them plan for their future, whatever form that may take.

    The Section’s full-day Fall program this year was titled, Living to 103 – Are You Prepared? Topics examined included aspects of finance, taxes, and long term care, the use of technology for finding new opportunities, and ethical issues incident to selling or closing a law practice. The program was co-sponsored by NYSBA’s Law Practice Management Committee, and a recorded copy of the program will be available at Programs are tailored to assist attorneys both in their personal planning and with advising clients.

    The SLS MCLE program at Annual Meeting, Strategies for Optimizing and Protecting Your and Your Clients’ Assets in Retirement, was well-received and fostered lively discussion. Presentations by respected panelists looked at varied aspects of planning, including types of house transfers, special needs trusts, the basics of wills and trusts, social security, and IRA minimum distributions and Roth conversions.

    The Section’s Executive Committee was delighted to host guest speaker Hon. Judith S. Kaye at its September meeting, as she shared her own experience transitioning from her position as Chief Judge in New York’s Court of Appeals. Discussion ensued on how best the vast knowledge and experience of senior lawyers can be harnessed, be it in pro bono service or active practice, and how the Senior Lawyers Section can provide guidance and options to this growing population.

    The Section remains committed to diversity in the profession, and to service to the community in pro bono activity. Periodic publication of The Senior Lawyer keeps members abreast of topics of interest to senior attorneys.

    2014 Section Officers

    Chair: Carole A. Burns
    Vice-Elect: Elizabeth J. McDonald
    Vice-Chair: Rosemary C. Byrne
    Treasurer: Charles E. Lapp, III
    Secretary: Ellen G. Makofsky

  • The Senior Lawyer

    View the Latest from The Senior Lawyer

    The Senior Lawyer features substantive articles for lawyers who are age 55 or older and is published to help with career continuity and career changes. Articles that have appeared in past issues include such topics as value of important papers, estate planning, ethical issues, life settlements and retaining and maintaining closed files. Also included are updates on Section news, committee reports, programs and events. The Senior Lawyer is published by the Senior Lawyers Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.

    Read now >

  • Coming Soon!

    Coming Soon! Private Online Professional Communities

    We are pleased to announce that the Senior Lawyers Section will soon offer a professional online private community—for Senior Lawyers Section members only.

    NYSBA Communities offer a wide variety of options, ranging from traditional listserves to searchable directories, collaborative workspaces, member profiles and even mentoring tools.

    Stay tuned for details!

    Learn about NYSBA's private online professional Communities