My Experiences at NYSBA’s Annual Meeting

By:  Arthur Shalagin

I joined the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) as a third year law student, after my classmate at Cardozo, Eugene Frenkel, told me about the awesome opportunities the organization provided for leadership and networking. In Fall 2015, I became involved as a Campus Fellow, increasing student enrollment and awareness of the benefits of being a student member at the largest voluntary bar association in the U.S. 

My involvement with NYSBA began when I reached out to the chairs of the Business Law and Corporate Counsel Sections. For the Corporate Counsel Section, I interviewed Lura Hess Bechtel, Esq. (Associate General Counsel at First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.) for the Winter 2015 Issue of the Section’s Newsletter, Inside. I spearheaded the rollout of the Business Law Section’s online community, working with a former chair of the section, Jay L. Hack.

On Monday, January 25, 2016, I attended the Twelfth Annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium, sponsored by NYSBA’s Committee on Women in the Law. The topic was increasing opportunities for women attorneys in startup, financial services, and technology companies. In the morning, I heard Sarah Feingold, Etsy’s Senior IP and Privacy Counsel, give a very inspirational keynote speech on her journey from jeweler to becoming the first in-house attorney at what was originally an e-commerce startup, and is now a publicly traded company. Sarah explained the multifaceted role she had when Etsy was a tiny startup, and how that role has since evolved, now that Etsy has become a multinational public company. Throughout the day I listened to a diverse group of panelists who spoke about the intersection of business and law.

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, I attended the Business Law and Corporate Counsel Sections’ Joint Annual Meeting. In the morning, I learned about the new Crowdfunding regulations promulgated by the SEC, followed by a panel on cybercrime, and a reception. I also attended a discussion of tax planning for startups and early stage companies. 

My Annual Meeting culminated with the Bar Leaders Breakfast and the House of Delegates. At the Bar Leaders Breakfast, I received the NYSBA Pathway to the Profession Award for Student Involvement. It was an honor to receive my first ever professional award, and it goes to show how innovation and dedication allows law students to get recognized by the legal community as leaders in their respective law schools. I was honored to sit at the award recipients’ table, with my Cardozo classmates Eugene Frenkel (who received the same award), Kyeko Stewart, Ligia Alvarenga, and Richard Diorio. I am very grateful to Eugene Frenkel for telling me about the New York State Bar Association, and for sharing this wonderful organization as a resource with me. 

Finally, we were allowed to sit in on the House of Delegates.  I felt extremely privileged to see how the NYSBA House of Delegates works, as usually only members of the House are permitted inside.  However, being part of the Pathway to the Profession Program, allowed me and a handful of other students from New York State to peak into the proceedings and view how  the governing arm of NYSBA functions.

-Arthur Shalagin is a 3L at Cardozo Law School