November 2019 Archives

Welcome to the November 2019 issue of Electronically in Touch

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We are pleased to submit the November 2019 issue of Electronically in Touch. This issue consists of informative articles regarding things to consider in marriage, divorce and law school debt, tips for surviving law school from the perspective of a law student, disasters and some tax relief options, as well as details on upcoming events by the New York State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section.

Electronically In Touch is a member driven publication. We welcome submissions from members on any relevant topic, including practice tips, substantive legal articles, case updates, work/life balance, and information regarding upcoming meetings and events. Please submit inquiries and articles to Julie T. Houth at or Mansi Parikh at

Marriage, Divorce, and Law School Loan Debt

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By Justine Borer, Esq.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, the overwhelming majority of United States law students who graduated from law school in 2018 had significant student loan debt. The American Bar Association has accredited 203 schools that confer the Juris Doctor degree. Of those 203, 186 law schools were analyzed by the U.S. News and World Report. At only 2 (University of Detroit Mercy and University of North Dakota) did fewer than half of the 2018 graduating class have student loan debt. At another 2 schools (Southern University Law Center and Florida A&M University), 100% of students graduated with student loan debt. At 108 of the schools analyzed, 75% or more students graduated with student loan debt. The lowest average student loan debt for students incurring such debt was at Georgia State University with 72% of graduates incurring an average of $50,902.

The picture of student loan debt is staggering at New York Law Schools.

● New York University: 59% graduate with debt averaging $167,441;
● Columbia University: 67% graduate with debt averaging $163,736;
● Fordham University: 59% graduate with debt averaging $146,217;
● New York Law School: 76% graduate with debt averaging $142,715;
● Cornell University: 66% graduate with debt averaging $128,757;
● Albany Law School: 83% graduate with debt averaging $100,386;
● Brooklyn Law School: 81% graduate with debt averaging $116,352;
● Yeshiva University (Cardozo): 62% graduate with debt averaging $116,066;
● Syracuse University: 79% graduate with debt averaging $114,523;
● University of Buffalo-SUNY: 77% graduate with debt averaging $88.867;
● CUNY Law School: 63% graduate with debt averaging $68,355;

Myriad issues could be discussed within this context, such as the sheer amount of the average loans taken out by students at most law schools and the pressure placed on law graduates to quickly find jobs which will allow them to chip away at the loans. This article will approach the law student loan debt conundrum from a different angle by trying to understand the impact of law student loan debt on marriage and divorce.

According to data from the United States Census Bureau, the median age at first marriage in the United States in 2018 was between 27 and 28 for women and between 29 and 30 for men. According to data from the Population Reference Bureau, the median age at first marriage in New York from 2013-2017 was 29.6 for men and 27.7 for women. Although I was unable to locate reliable data about the median age of United States law students taken as an aggregate, or by gender, at Cornell Law School, for example, the average age of students in the entering class was 24, meaning that the average age of students at graduation was approximately 27. Similarly, though I was unable to locate reliable data about the median age of marriage for law students, law graduates, or lawyers as a group, it is reasonable to assume that the average American law student will graduate from law school, saddled with significant student loan debt, in a period that is quite close in time to the median age at which people marry in the United States.

Entering marriages with student loan debt is nothing new. But in prior decades, the average annual tuition was significantly lower. For example, according to the American Bar Association Statistics Archives, in 1985, the average annual tuition was $2,006 for public law school resident students, $4,724 for public law school non-resident students, and $7,526 for private law school students. By way of comparison, in 2013, the most recent year for which I was able to locate data from the American Bar Association Statistics Archives, the average annual tuition was $23,879 for public law school resident students, $36,859 for public law school non-resident students, and $41,985 for private law school students. According to, even accounting for inflation, annual tuition was significantly higher in 2013 than in 1985. As a result, concerns about paying back law school loan debt - assuming that debt was undertaken at all - were more modulated 30 years ago than they are now. Today, the sheer amount of student loan debt a spouse may have incurred in law school may cause confusion and anxiety for the non-debtor spouse.

One of the most important practical steps one can take to guard against problems with a spouse's student loan debt is to ensure that all loan payments are made on time. Auto-debit for student loan payments is an option, and it has some clear advantages, such as convenience and protection against late payment fees and negative notations on credit reports. But auto-debit can be very problematic if there's an error, especially one that results in a missed payment. (See Adam Minsky, Student Loan Debt 101, 2014).

And in fact, there are several practical ways to minimize the potential impact of a spouse's student loan debt:

● Be familiar with the specifics of the loan: whether it is private or federal, and what its terms are. Find out right off the bat the options if a spouse defaults on the loan. (See Student Loan Debt 101).
● Make informed financial planning decisions in the context of the loan terms (e.g., is it financially feasible to buy a home in the years immediately after a spouse graduates from school, given his or her income, the amount of his or her monthly student loan payments, and the potential impact of the debt on home mortgage terms?) Shiva Bhaskar, an attorney focusing on consumer credit issues, explains that "[mortgage] lenders care a lot about debt to income ratios, when deciding how much to approve someone for. A couple [in which] one spouse has lots of student loan debt will definitely be able to borrow less."
● Consult an accountant or financial planner to decide whether it makes sense to file taxes separately (though in the case of certain loans, such as federal REPAYE loans, that won't make a difference). (See Student Loan Debt 101)
● If the marriage occurs after the debt has been incurred, consider executing a prenuptial agreement which indicates how much the debtor spouse will be responsible for and how much the couple will jointly be responsible for.
● If there is a divorce, make sure there is language in the separation agreement spelling out how much of the debt the debtor spouse will be responsible for and how much the couple will jointly be responsible for.

Student loan debt is a component of the entire picture of a marital financial situation. At divorce, it may be a factor considered in equitable distribution. So even if the student loan debt was taken out before marriage by one spouse, it may be a factor in deciding how money and property will be divided at divorce. And if student loan debt is taken out after marriage, though it may not impact the non-debtor spouses' credit score, it is considered marital debt even if the non-debtor spouse doesn't co-sign the loan. Conversely, if the spouses marry before or during law school, the contributions the non-debtor spouse made towards supporting the couple while the debtor spouse was in school may be a factor in equitable distribution.

If a spouse defaults on his or her payments, the student loan status is "delinquent." A host of other issues present. For one, there is "no statute of limitations on collection of federal student loans...[so] the government can pursue you for the rest of your life." Student Loan Debt 101. Mr. Bhaskar explains that the federal government can "garnish wages and freeze bank accounts on defaulted loans, without a court order, so this has an impact as well (i.e. total income reduced, and joint bank account in some cases could be accessed, which means total savings are reduced)." Private lenders are more limited in how they can pursue the debtor spouse without a court order, but with a court order, they may still be able to garnish wages, seize bank accounts, and put liens on properties. (See Student Loan Debt 101).

Though it need not, the federal government has the authority to sue the debtor spouse for student loan debt owed, obtain a court judgment, and pursue the debtor spouse in other ways, such as putting a lien on property. If the non-debtor spouse bought property, such as a house, in joint name with the debtor spouse, and the government puts a lien on the property due to the debtor spouse's default on a student loan, the couple may be unable to sell the property until the student loan is repaid. However, in many cases, the government may permit the sale if the debt is paid at closing, and in some cases, the government may waive its lien.

If there is a divorce, and the debtor spouse's wages are garnished by the government due to a delinquent student loan, New York courts will disregard the garnishment in determining child support and spousal maintenance obligations, as long as the garnishment is considered the debtor spouse's fault.

In addition, delinquent student loans may impact tax refunds. Mr. Bhaskar explains, "If a spouse defaults on a federal student loan, the government is allowed to take money from their tax refund, without obtaining a judgment or otherwise going to court. So, if spouses choose to file jointly, their refund could be impacted by a spouse whose loan is in default."

Significant student loan debt is a reality in the lives of the vast majority of people who graduate from law school. The best way to minimize - though not eliminate - the impact of this debt on marriage is for the debtor spouse to make all loan payments on time, in full, and to make realistic financial plans in the context of these payments. If the debtor spouse does default on a loan, debt rehabilitation is an option.

Justine Borer, Esq. has a private practice in New York City focusing on matrimonial law. She is an adjunct professor in the Philosophy Department at John Jay College. She recently received a Certificate of Distinguished Service for her pro bono work in the New York State Courts initiative Access to Justice, assisting low-income litigants with uncontested divorces and family law issues.

Tips for Surviving Law School

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By Monica Beshay

Benjamin Franklin said, "For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned," a phrase that is very applicable to law students and most likely to young lawyers early in their practice as well.

As the weather gets colder, we know what that means. Pumpkin Spice Latte and Outlining season!

Today's world values time. Time is of the essence is a phrase that is often said. I hear so many people say that they wish they were more organized. The new generation is fascinated by saving time with new trends such as meal prepping, online shopping, and grocery delivery: all these trends have the same purpose--to save time.

As the semester is slowly ending, students are trying to ensure that their time is managed accordingly. Here, I have outlined several ways for students to attempt to be more efficient.

Tips for surviving law school:


Technology is a part of our everyday lives. Online Calendars are a great resource. Outlook and Google Calendars are my personal favorites. Online calendars are accessible. You can access the calendar from any of your devices, including laptops, phones, iPads, and whatever else you own. You can use your calendar anywhere you go because it is portable.

Technology can also keep you accountable. One way to do so is to set reminders and to simply put your event on your calendar itself. You can set reminders in increments such as 15 minutes, or even 1 day before the event. You can even add the location of the event. For example, set your calendar with your class schedule and list the room number.

Convenience is the wave of the future. Online calendars allow for your schedule to be more conveniently accessible to you. In addition, you can share events with peers, partners, and friends. This allows you to remind others of a scheduled meeting. As a student, you can use this for your study group.

Online calendars allow you to add colors without the mess and hassle of sharpies. I recommend designating a color to each subject or specific task. For example, Civil Procedure can be red, while Constitutional Law can be yellow. This is great if you are a visual learner.

Also, despite all the benefits of technology, it's okay to not use your phone because you can allow yourself some time away from your phone or other devices. You can give yourself a break.

Study Tips

A great way to ensure you are understanding the subject is to study weekly. This helps break up the subject into smaller and more manageable pieces. Ask upperclassmen for advice! They may have had the same professor. Even if they had a different professor, they most likely have taken the same subjects.

Go to office hours! This is something I am sure law students hear often. Get to know your professors. They tend to be very well educated in their respective fields. One way to approach them is to come prepared with a question to ask. It will help the conversation flow.

Other Tips for Organization

Meal preparation is all over Instagram. A benefit of this practice is that it can help save you money. This can also help ensure that you are eating all the nutrients needed.

One way to save yourself some time is to prepare your outfit the night before class or work. This may even save you some morning stress just by physically laying out your outfit the night before the next morning.

Pen and paper are also sometimes a great resource. Make a list and crossing items off can give you a sense of accomplishment. Also invest in helpful tools, such as highlighters, colored pens, sticky notes and tabs. Make sure to get different colors and sizes. This can help with your organization.


Self-care in law school is a must. A personal favorite of mine is pumpkin spice lattes. While you get yourself a latte, you can change your scenery. Coffee shops can be a place to study if you need a break from school.

As a student, you need to make sure you are eating healthy and make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. Also make sure you are drinking water.

Enjoy your time. Exercise and stay active. It is okay to spend some time outside of the library. Most importantly, make sure you are getting rest. Allowing time for your body to rest will help you conquer your tasks. And last but not least, making sure your mental health is in check is critical to law school success. You can do this by talking to your family and friends.

This small checklist can be easily integrated into your daily routine and can potentially benefit you once you become a young lawyer.


Monica Beshay is in Brooklyn Law School's Two-Year Accelerated Law Program. Monica will be graduating this year, May 2020, as Brooklyn's youngest graduate. Outside of law school Monica enjoys reading realistic fiction novels and re-watching Harry Potter Movies.

Disasters and Tax Relief

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By Julie T. Houth, Esq.

The aftermath of a natural disaster can leave individuals and their families in shambles. Taxes are probably the last thing on their minds, but tax laws do offer some help for disaster victims. If the natural disaster is a federally declared disaster, taxpayers can typically choose to deduct the loss in the tax year the disaster occurred or the year prior, through an amended return if necessary. In other words, victims of a federally declared disaster could use their tax filing to obtain much needed cash.

According to the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), Congress enacted special tax relief to help taxpayers and businesses recover from the impact of 2016 qualified disasters, and the following 2017 qualified disasters: Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, and the California wildfires. This special relief is in the Disaster Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Taxpayers can review the list of recent tax relief provided by the IRS in disaster situations based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's ("FEMA") declarations here: Although there are currently no disasters listed for New York, it is possible that New Yorkers have family members outside of New York State that were affected by these disasters. This information is also good to know for future reference in the event there is a disaster in another area where friends and family are located. Below is a discussion of some federally declared disaster areas and some relief taxpayers can elect.

Special Rules for Qualified Disaster Losses: How Individuals Can Claim

The definition of a disaster loss is a loss that occurred in a federally declared disaster area that is attributable to a federally declared disaster. While a disaster loss is a type of casualty loss, special rules apply that usually provide more favorable tax treatment for "qualified" disaster losses.

According to the IRS, taxpayers can claim a qualified disaster loss for personal casualty losses resulting from federally declared disasters that occurred in 2016, as well as certain 2017 disasters. Below is more information on what is deemed a 2016 and 2017 qualified disaster:

(1) A 2016 qualified disaster is a major disaster declared by the President of the United States under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in calendar year 2016. A 2016 qualified disaster area is an area for which such a major disaster was declared.

(2) A 2017 qualified disaster includes the following federally declared disasters: Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, and the California wildfires. These disasters were declared by the President of the United States under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in calendar year 2017. Not all 2017 federally declared disasters are considered 2017 qualified disasters. Only Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, and the California wildfires are considered 2017 qualified disasters for special disaster tax relief purposes.

The IRS directs taxpayers to Publication 976 for more information about Disaster Relief, which can be found here:

The publication discusses, amongst other things, the following:
• Qualified 2016 disasters declared by the President in 2016
• Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Harvey disaster areas, covered disaster areas and disaster zones
• Hurricane Irma disaster area, covered disaster area and disaster zone
• Hurricane Maria disaster area, covered disaster area and disaster zone
• California wildfire disaster area, covered disaster area and disaster zone
• Victims of California wildfires, flooding, mudflows and debris flows

Note that these special rules apply only to individuals with a U.S. income tax filing requirement with the IRS. The IRS advises, "Bona fide residents of Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands may wish to seek guidance from the Department of the Treasury of Puerto Rico or the USVI Bureau of Internal Revenue regarding the extent to which any such relief may apply when filing their Puerto Rico or USVI income tax return."

Qualified Disaster Losses: How Individuals Can Claim

Qualified disaster losses are claimed on IRS Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts.

Below are general rules to consider:

(1) The $100 limitation per casualty increases to $500 for net qualified disaster losses. Taxpayers must use $500 as the reduction when determining your qualified disaster loss.

(2) The 10 percent of adjusted gross income limit doesn't apply to net qualified disaster losses. Taxpayers are allowed a deduction for the entire portion of the disaster loss that is not covered by insurance or other reimbursement claims that exceeds $500.

(3) Taxpayers can increase their standard deduction by the amount of your net qualified disaster loss instead of itemizing deductions on Schedule A. You can deduct 2016 and 2017 qualified disaster losses for both regular and AMT purposes without itemizing other deductions on Schedule A. See the Schedule A instructions for more detail.

Also see IRS Publication 976 on information about safe harbor methods taxpayers may use to calculate the amount of your casualty losses for your personal-use residential real property damaged or destroyed.

How to Claim Losses on the Federal Tax Return for Any Federally Declared Disaster

If taxpayers have a casualty loss attributable to a federally declared disaster that occurred in an area warranting public or individual assistance or possibly both, taxpayers can deduct the loss in the tax year before the loss occurred. In other words, taxpayers may apply this rule to claim qualified disaster losses that occurred in 2017 on their 2016 return. For example, taxpayers can file their tax return electronically if they are claiming the loss on their tax year 2018 federal tax return that is generally due April 17, 2019.

If taxpayers already filed their tax return for the year, taxpayers can amend it to claim their qualified disaster loss by filing a Form 1040X. Taxpayers must indicate "Federally Declared Disaster" at the top of the tax return. Amended tax returns can take up to 16 weeks to process. Note that the deadline to deduct the loss on the 2016 return has passed because taxpayers needed to file the amended return on or before October 15, 2018.

If a person has not filed a 2016 tax return and they want to deduct or increase their standard deduction by their net qualified disaster loss on their 2016 tax return, that person must file on paper and may not file electronically. Use either Form 1040 or Form 1040NR. To figure your net qualified disaster loss, see the Instructions for Form 4684. You must indicate "Federally Declared Disaster" at the top of your tax return as outlined in the 2016 Form 4684 instructions. Paper Form 1040 processing can take up to six weeks. Note that tax penalties like failure to file, may apply because the return is filed late.

For more information about special tax law provisions to help taxpayers and businesses recover from the impact of 2016 and 2017 qualified disasters, see the most updated version of IRS Publication 976. This publication includes information about additional tax relief for individuals who may be able to use 2016 earned income to figure the earned income credit and additional child tax credit.

Final Thought

Navigating tax laws can be difficult without professional help. This article is meant to be a guide in similar situations and is not an all-inclusive list of what to do. It is highly recommended that taxpayers seek out tax professionals that can help them file their tax return or amended return and appropriately select available tax remedies for the particular disaster that affected them. In addition, a tax professional can help to determine the tax year to claim a particular disaster loss. Affected taxpayers can also identify themselves to the IRS or ask disaster-related questions by calling the special IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227.

Julie T. Houth, Esq., LL.M (Taxation) is a staff attorney for Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, a law firm with over 200 lawyers across the nation specializing in complex litigation representing plaintiffs in securities fraud, antitrust, corporate mergers and acquisitions, consumer and insurance fraud, multi-district litigation, and whistleblower protection cases. Ms. Houth is based at the firm's headquarters in San Diego, California. She serves as one of the New York State Young Lawyers Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates and is the Co-Editor in Chief of Electronically In Touch.

The New York State Bar Association Trial Academy is a five-day trial techniques program. Geared toward new and young attorneys, participants will take part in sessions which will advance and improve their courtroom skills. With an emphasis on direct participation, the Trial Academy is a great learning experience for all involved.

Frequently asked questions about the Trial Academy
Please note: Seats are limited and the Trial Academy sells out each year.
Young Lawyers Section Member registration fee: $950 (NYSBA Membership required)
NYSBA member registration fee: $1,000
Non-NYSBA member registration fee: $1,100


Now accepting scholarship applications. Scholarship applications and resumes are due 2/1/2020 to Amy Jasiewicz at:

Scholarship application form:

The following Sections are offering scholarships:

Business Law Section
Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
Young Lawyers Section

Under New York's MCLE rule, this program has been approved for a total of up to 37.5 MCLE credit hours, consisting of 2.0 credit hours in ETHICS and 35.5 credit hours in SKILLS. This program is transitional and therefore suitable for newly admitted attorneys. This program is accredited for MCLE credit in New York State only. Attorneys seeking credit in other jurisdictions may contact the governing body for CLE in their respective locations for credit application details.

Upcoming Recommended Events

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Monday, December 2, 2019



Being a high-powered General Counsel or partner at a law firm can be challenging and complicated - especially when you add in family and other interests -- but incredibly rewarding. Join us for an in-depth discussion on the day-to-day experience of female GCs and Partners in the NY area legal community.

Panelists Laurie Bigman, Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, CardWorks, Inc., Tamala Boyd, General Counsel, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, Emily Johnson, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Lois Liberman, Partner, Blank Rome LLP, will provide their personal perspectives on what it takes to excel in the GC and Partner roles, the paths one can follow and the challenges that may come your way.

December 2, 2019
6:00 p.m. Registration
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Presentation, Q&A and Networking Reception
This is a complimentary event.

Hors d'oeuvres, Wine and Soda Will Be Served

Hosted By:

Blank Rome LLP
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Please RSVP for security entrance to Tiffany Bardwell at

Thank you to Blank Rome for hosting the event and reception.

Not a member of the Women in Law Section? Dues are only $30 per year with NYSBA membership. Join today! (Join online or call the Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452, M-F, 8am-5pm) Registration for this event will be free if you sign-up as a first time Section member.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Holiday Mixer and Toys for Tot Drive!

Join the Young Lawyers Section and our co-sponsors to celebrate the holidays and support Toys for Tots! Meet in downtown Albany after work to network with other local attorneys and share some holiday cheer.

Thursday, December 5
6 pm - 8 pm

No-Ware Pint and Plate (former Vintage House)
897 Broadway, Albany

The event is complimentary. View the flyer here:

We ask that attendees bring one unwrapped toy per person to donate to Toys for Tots.
Co-Sponsored by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, the Real Property Law Section and the Albany County Bar Association.
Appetizers and one drink ticket per person

Please RSVP by December 2, 2019 here: or call NYSBA Member Resource Center at 1-800-582-2452.

Monday & Tuesday, December 16-17, 2019


The New York State Bar Association is pleased to offer newly admitted attorneys a two-day Bridging the Gap CLE program. Transitional courses are designed to help newly admitted attorneys develop a foundation in the practical skills, techniques and procedures that are essential to the practice of law.

The Bridging the Gap continuing legal education program offers 16.0 total credits. Newly admitted attorneys can satisfy all of their annual MCLE requirements by attending this two-day program which is ideal for "bridging the gap" between law school and the realities of practicing law in New York State. Experienced attorneys who have an interest in other areas of practice can also attend and benefit from this program by learning practical information from skilled and experienced practitioners.

Newly admitted attorneys must complete at least 16 transitional CLE credit hours in each of the first two years of admission to the Bar. The first set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed by the first anniversary of admission to the Bar, in the designated categories of credit. The second set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed between the first and second anniversaries. To receive skills credit, newly admitted attorneys must take accredited transitional CLE courses in traditional live classroom settings, or through attendance at fully interactive video conference locations that have been approved by the CLE Board for use by newly admitted attorneys. For more information about the CLE Rules, please go to

Monday, December 16, 2019 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Convene Conference Center
810 Seventh Avenue (Between 52nd & 53rd Streets)
New York, NY 10019

16.0 MCLE Credits
7.0 Areas of Professional Practice | 6.0 Skills | 3.0 Ethics
This program has also been approved for MCLE credit by the State Bar of California, the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board and the Board of Continuing Legal Education of the State of New Jersey. If you require MCLE credit in other states, we can provide you a Uniform MCLE Form.

$295 Special Rate for Newly Admitted Attorneys & Young Lawyers Section Members
NYSBA Members - $495 | Non-Members - $795

Register Here:

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Katherine Suchocki, Esq. Director of Continuing Legal Education, Patrick Boland, CLE Program Manager or Leanne Isabelle, CLE Program Coordinator.

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) is now accepting nominations for its 2020-2021 Executive Committee. We invite you to put forth an application for a position on the YLS Executive Committee for 2020--2021. Link to the nomination form can be viewed here:

The YLS Executive Committee is comprised of four (4) officers of the Section; one (1) representative and one (1) alternate representative member from each judicial district of New York State; four (4) YLS delegates and (1) YLS alternate delegate to the New York State Bar Association's House of Delegates; one (1) YLS delegate from the New York State Bar Association to the American Bar Association's House of Delegates; all chairpersons of the standing committees of the YLS; all liaisons from the YLS to other sections, divisions or committees of the New York State Bar Association; and the Editors of Perspective and Electronically-In-Touch.

Please note that the following positions are not open to nominations due to the requirements of the Section's bylaws: Chair, Chair-Elect, Treasurer and House of Delegates - YLS Delegates. The current officers rotate through those positions. The officer positions that are open for nominations include secretary and House of Delegates - YLS Alternate Delegate. Please see the full list of positions.

It is preferred, but not required that these positions are filled by a member who has previously served in a position on the YLS Executive Committee and is familiar with the Section. As a leader, you will have opportunities to network on a larger scale with the YLS membership, and other Section and Association leaders who are regarded as top experts in their practice areas. You may assist in organizing district programs and events or section-wide initiatives, such as the annual Trial Academy. Most of all, you will serve with a talented group of young attorneys from around the state who help make the transition from law school to practice an easier one for young and newly-admitted attorneys. You will help by enhancing and developing career, professional, and leadership skills; providing opportunities for mentoring and networking with peers and seasoned practitioners; and serving as a champion in the facilitation and resolution of issues common to our membership.

Please consider whether you will still qualify for YLS membership, which is available to those admitted to practice 10 years or less. If you would like to serve in any position on the Executive Committee, remember to renew your NYSBA and YLS dues for 2020.

Whether you currently serve in a leadership capacity and would like to continue your service, or are a Section member who would like to be considered for a position on the Young Lawyers Section Executive Committee for 2020--2021, I invite you to submit a Nomination Form expressing your interest.

If you would like to be considered for one of the elected officer positions (Secretary or Alternate Delegate to the House of Delegates), we ask that you submit a one or two (1-2) paragraph statement, indicating the position you are seeking and your reasons for seeking such position, along with your Nomination Form.

Nomination Forms should be emailed to:
Brandon L. Wolff, Esq.
YLS Nominating Committee Chair

Deadline for Submission: Monday, November 25, 2019
Nomination Forms will be reviewed by the YLS Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will then prepare and vote upon the slate of Nominations. The slate will be presented to the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee for presentation and a vote at the Annual YLS Membership Meeting on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

On behalf of the Young Lawyers Section, we would like to encourage you to take advantage of the leadership opportunities available by serving on the YLS Executive Committee. We look forward to working with you in 2020!

Lauren Sharkey, Esq.
Young Lawyers Section

Renew Your NYSBA Membership for 2020

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For more than 140 years, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) has been the voice of the legal profession in New York State. Our mission is to shape the development of law, educate and inform the public and respond to the demands of our diverse and ever-changing legal profession. NYSBA advocates for state and federal legislation and works tirelessly to promote equal access to justice for all. Join more than tens of thousands of NYSBA members from around the world in accessing our premier members-only legal resources, programs, advocacy, and networking opportunities.

Renew today!

Join the Young Lawyers Section

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Become the voice of newly-admitted and young attorneys in NYSBA. Designed to help make the transition from law school to practice an easier one for newly-admitted attorneys, the Young Lawyers Section connects you with experienced attorneys lending general advice, legal guidance, or expert opinions. Take advantage of educational programs, networking events, and the exclusive Young Lawyers Section Mentor Directory, which is just one of the Section's mentoring initiatives. The Section publishes Electronically In Touch and Perspective. Law students may also join the Section and get a jump start on their careers.


Are you interested in volunteering for a Section Committee? Please email Amy Jasiewicz at and indicate the committees you wish to join. The Young Lawyers Section has the following committees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Community Service and Pro Bono Committee
  • Diversity Committee
  • Law Student Development Committee
  • Long-Range Planning Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Mentoring Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • Perspective Editorial Board


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The Officers of YLS and the Editors of Electronically In Touch wish to make clear that the thoughts and opinions expressed in the articles that follow are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the authors' employers or clients, the New York State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, or its Officers or Executive Committee.

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