November 14, 2019: NYSBA Seeks to Broaden Reach with New Communications Hire

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) today announced it has hired Susan DeSantis to lead its communications team.

In her new role as strategist and communications advisor, DeSantis, formerly the deputy editor-in-chief of the New York Law Journal, has been tasked with revamping NYSBA’s approach to getting out its message to the world – members and non-members alike – across all media platforms.

“We are excited to welcome Susan to the NYSBA team,” said NYSBA Executive Director Pamela McDevitt. “She has demonstrated an intimate knowledge and understanding of our organization’s challenges, as well as its great potential, and I know she will help take our communications operation to the next level.”

During her two-year tenure at the Law Journal, DeSantis helped a global staff of editors, reporters, graphic artists and photographers coalesce into a collaborative team that produced high-quality products at a fast pace. 

She employed metrics to ensure that the publication was best meeting the needs of its subscribers – a data-driven approach she will also use in her new position at NYSBA.

DeSantis has over two decades of experience in journalism, much of which she spent working as an editor at newspapers in New Jersey and overseeing a number of award-winning projects. She also taught journalism at Rutgers University.

Before departing the Law Journal, DeSantis authored a series of articles about the modern-day challenges faced by the more than 200 New York bar associations, which are competing for a shrinking pool of potential members.

NYSBA recognizes the need to communicate in a new way in a modern media market where a growing number of attorneys – particularly those who are just entering the legal profession – are turning to online resources to meet their information and ongoing education requirements.

“Susan has an acute understanding of the information and news lawyers want and need to enhance their practices and professional development,” NYSBA President Hank Greenberg said. “Her addition to our team will improve the way we serve our members, both here in New York and across the nation and world.”

DeSantis will be re-evaluating NYSBA’s entire communications and marketing operations, making recommendations and changes in the coming months to ensure information about a wide variety of projects and policy efforts is reaching the right audiences at the right time. 

“I’m looking forward to reaching members and potential members with information that they know they need as well as business intelligence that goes beyond their expectations,” DeSantis said. “Our staff will be a resource for newly-admitted attorneys and those with years of experience, New York City lawyers and rural ones, and attorneys who work in BigLaw and those who run small firms.”

DeSantis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. She is a native of Long Island and lives in Middletown, N.J., with her husband Russell. They have two sons.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Dan Weiller
[email protected]
518-487-5500