Instant Insights / Survival of the Fittest

More than 200 New York bar associations are competing for a shrinking pool of potential members, and experts predict that if they don’t evolve, they will not be around long term.


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The New York State Bar Association’s annual conference is held in New York City. Photo: David Handschuh/NYLJ.

I read Survival of the Fittest: As Baby Boomers Retire, NY Bar Associations Face Harsh Realities (Sept. 9, 2019) about the dwindling number of bar associations in New York. There are a number of factors related to this trend. First, however, as a full disclosure, I will add that I am a member of the New York City Bar Association Cooperative and Condominium Law Committee and a member of the New York State Bar Association, Real Property Law Section.  I previously served as the Secretary to the Supreme Court Committee at the New York County Lawyers Association.

I have very much enjoyed the collegiality of all of the bar associations, and it was/is terrific to listen to and learn from leading practitioners in the real estate law field, which is the real advantage of joining a bar association. By attending meetings over the years, I have heard experts discuss a broad range of topics from the rights of pet owners in buildings to the issues related to the special risks of offering plans. These topics, although arcane to some, come up during my representation of clients, and help me serve them better. Ultimately, it makes me a more well-rounded attorney, too. In other instances, when the meetings covered recent decisions, the very attorneys representing the litigants were in the room and were able to expound on the litigation. This is invaluable information for any practitioner.

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