Bernice K. Leber, a partner in the firm of Arent Fox LLP in New York, is the newly elected President of the 74,000-member New York State Bar Association, the nation's largest voluntary state bar.She is the Association's 111th president and for the first time in history, the Association will have back-to-back female presidents.
In keeping with her theme "Helping Lawyers, Helping Clients," Ms. Leber has an aggressive agenda planned. Her goals for the upcoming year include: working to prevent wrongful convictions, which undermine public confidence in the justice system; examining lawyers' privacy rights to better protect attorneys and their clients; providing new resources for solo and small firm practitioners; recommendations on making courthouses more "user-friendly," and producing a new report and recommendations on how New Yorkers can work to lessen global climate change.
Bernice Leber also has committed to continuing priorities established by Immediate Past-President Kathryn Grant Madigan of Levene Bouldin & Thompson LLP.These initiatives include a three year challenge to increase Association membership; the fight to increase funding for civil legal services for the poor; the extension of the right to counsel for New Yorkers in certain civil matters; and the continued support of the Associations' legislative priorities.
The other elected officers are President-elect Michael E. Getnick of Getnick, Livingston, Atkinson, Gigliotti & Priore, LLP and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick, New York.In the upcoming year, Mr. Getnick will chair the House of Delegates and the President's Committee on Access to Justice. C. Bruce Lawrence, Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson, LLP, has been elected to serve as Secretary of the Association's Executive Committee, and Seymour W. James, Jr., has been named Treasurer of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. James is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Queens County Office of the Criminal Defense Division of The Legal Aid Society of New York.