CNYWBA End of Year Report
"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."
For the Central New York Women's Bar Association, June marks the beginning of a new membership year. It is a fitting time to reflect on the events of the previous year and plan for the year ahead. CNYWBA commenced its membership year with an Installation and Volunteer Recognition held at Eleven Waters. CNYWBA's officers and directors pledged to advance the interests of women in society and in the legal profession and to promote the fair administration of justice. Through the many contributions CNYWBA's volunteers made to our association in 2018-19, we did just that!
Last fall, CNYWBA conducted a Voter Registration Drive, screened and rated numerous candidates for judicial office and published the ratings of the judicial candidates at CNYWBA's signature event - its Annual Judicial Reception held at the Dinosaur Barbeque. CNYWBA is proud that several of its members were elected to public office, including the Hon. Donald Greenwood, Hon. Ann Magnarelli, Hon. James Murphy and Hon. Gerald Neri.
CNYWBA held receptions honoring two of its members whose legal and political careers have paved the way to success for other women lawyers. On the eve of what has been described as an historic election, we celebrated the Hon. Rosemary Pooler's 20th anniversary on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. CNYWBA also sponsored a retirement reception for the Hon. Karen Uplinger. Judge Uplinger, together with other members of the "Onondaga Five," received WBASNY's Founders Award in 2003 based on her previous advocacy to allow women attorneys to receive felony case assignments, attend Onondaga County Bar Association meetings and serve on its Board of Directors.
Throughout the year, CNYWBA held several other events and programs fostering the relationship between members of the bench and bar, including co-sponsoring a reception honoring the newly elected judges in the fifth and sixth judicial districts, co-hosting the Bench-Bar Buffet series in which jurists from different courts speak to members of CNYWBA and OCBA about best practices in their respective courts and hosting a popular new dinner titled Judge's Choice Dinner at which a limited number of members dine with a judge at a restaurant of her choice.
CNYWBA proudly sustained its pro bono program, namely its award-winning Vera House Clinic in which volunteer attorneys from CNYWBA and the Volunteer Lawyers' Project provide legal consults to those who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. CNYWBA also participated in Read Across America on March 1st, celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday. Our members read books to elementary school students at 24 classrooms at two area elementary schools.
In furtherance of the president's initiative on attorney well-being, CNYWBA, in partnership with OCBA, launched a program, titled Women: Work, Life & Law at which women discussed some of the challenges facing women in the profession and the possible support networks that can be created to provide support and guidance. CNYWBA is proud to offer several of the initiatives and programs that promote well-being, including scholarship and mentorship. CNYWBA awarded the Krupkin scholarship, established in memory of CNYWBA co-founder Beatrice Krupkin, to a promising woman law student who best exemplifies academic success in law school and a keen interest in advancing the status of women in society through her eventual legal career. CNYWBA also continued its popular mentorship program with this year's theme of "Pathways." Two sessions were conducted: the first in connection with the initiative, "Pathways to Health" and the second, "Pathways to Practice", in which CNYWBA partnered with the Women Law Students Association at Syracuse University College of Law.
Recognizing the importance of mentoring in advancing the interests of women in the profession, CNYWBA held the Women in Law Summit at the Syracuse University College of Law on April 3rd. Through a combination of inspiring speeches, a panel discussion by accomplished women in the legal profession and a break-out session, the program sought to equip attendees with the skills needed to succeed in the demanding legal profession in which women are not well represented in positions of leadership. CNYWBA was honored to have Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York Court of Appeals deliver a keynote address inspired by the recent ABA report titled, "You Can't Change What You Can't See: Interrupting Racial & Gender Bias in the Legal Profession." We were excited to hear the preliminary results of the New York Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts' survey on gender bias in the courts and were encouraged to hear that some progress has been made since the initial survey was conducted over 30 years ago. Following the event, CNYWBA hosted a reception at the Century Club of Syracuse honoring Chief Judge DiFiore, which was well attended by members of the upstate New York legal community.
CNYWBA's success depends on the collective effort of its volunteer members. Thank you to the 2018-19 Board for its commitment and hard work! Thank you to the members of CNYWBA for allowing me to serve as president over the last year. Congratulations to Laurel Eveleigh and the other officers and directors who will continue to advance the mission of the Central New York Women's Bar Association!
Please join us on June 12th as we celebrate the installation of officers and directors for the 2019-20 membership year.
With best regards,
Nicole Marlow-Jones, Immediate Past President, CNYWBA