By: Eugene Frenkel
Attending the 2016 New
York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Annual Meeting was an interesting and
informative experience. It exposed me to areas of the law that I was not aware
of, allowed me to network with NYSBA leaders and help honor hard-working attorneys
trying to improve their communities.
I attended the Criminal
Justice Section's panel on Human Trafficking as it was a topic I thought was no
longer an issue in modern times.
However, through the discussion I learned that human trafficking affects
thousands of people per year. The opportunity to listen in on leading attorneys
discussing this serious topic made me appreciate toll human trafficking has on
its victims. There was also hope in
discussing ways which the various organizations, including the New York State
Bar Association are working on putting an end to this epidemic. Two of the
panelists were a defense attorney and a prosecutor it was interesting to see
them agreeing with one another more than not.
A Deputy Police Commissioner from
a foreign country was in attendance as well, discussing how human trafficking
affects his country’s people and what they are doing to protect their citizens.
After the panel, I
attended the Criminal Justice Section's luncheon. New York City Police Commissioner
William Bratton delivered a very eloquent speech, which was followed by an award
ceremony. In addition to Commissioner Bratton, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten
Island District Attorneys’ were in attendance as well as the Executive
Directors of public defender officers throughout the state. Having all of those people in attendance made
this a great opportunity to meet some very great people and expand my
Following the luncheon
the Criminal Justice Section held their executive meeting. This was the first
time I had been to an Executive Committee meeting. It was really interesting to
observe leading Criminal Justice practitioners debate important and contentious
topics. They discussed new initiatives to improve the lives of everyday New
Yorkers and potential responses to proposed legislation. Finally, I found out about many of the excellent
opportunities to become involved, not just in the Criminal Justice Section, but
with NYSBA as well. Some of their ideas
centered on the following: Volunteering for committees, writing articles, and
planning events. This is a short list of the many opportunities available.
Friday, the last day of the Annual Meeting, I attended the New York State Bar
Leader’s Breakfast, where bar associations from around the state were honored for
their work in helping attorneys and clients. In addition, NYSBA presented the Pathway to the Profession Award for Student
Involvement. As a recipient, it was
a very humbling to be honored among the many people in attendance. It also
showed that hard work and being part of an organization can have its rewards. Attending the Bar Leader’s Breakfast was an
amazing opportunity to network with award attorneys from all over the state
from various practice areas. As much as
I enjoyed attending the Criminal Justice Section program, it was nice to speak
with practitioners from the various local and specialty bars.
-Eugene Frenkel is a 2L at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law