C. Bruce Lawrence

The Senior Lawyers Section is home to New York’s experienced lawyers, age 55+. While the SLS is a relatively new section created in 2008, with some 3,000 members it is one the largest sections. The affinity of its members is age related, rather than practice area related. It provides opportunities for experienced lawyers to maintain their careers or to undertake new activities including pro bono and civic service, mentoring, lecturing and writing.

Our Annual Meeting CLE is on Thursday January 25th at 9 a.m. at the New York Hilton Midtown. This year’s program concentrates on issues of transition for senior lawyers. Many seniors decide they don’t want to just retire and stop working. But it can be a challenge to figure out what is next for you. At our program the first presentation will be by Melvin Simensky on “Is There a Job Coach in Your Future, Finding New Opportunities for Yourself.” Coaching isn’t about telling you what to do or advising you what opportunities there are, but rather helping you realize your goals and figure out what life changes you would like to make. A coach is there to help you identify solutions.

This will be followed by Andrea Tomaino of the 7th District Attorney Grievance Committee, who will talk about “Ethical Issues in Retirement.” If you decide to leave your firm, but want to continue to practice on your own, what issues does this raise? If you have spent years relying on a firm to handle the administration of your practice, now you may be in an area where you are more akin to a young lawyer practicing as a solo.

Next, a panel of senior lawyers will discuss a “Second Season of Service,” opportunities for volunteering. We will discuss pro bono opportunities in the City versus upstate, volunteering at Help Centers, and the Attorney Emeritus Program. The program will conclude with Sarah Diane McShea reviewing NYSBA’s Planning Ahead Guide with suggestions as to how you or a successor close up a practice.

In 2017, the SLS created the Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award to recognize dedicated senior members of our profession who have generously provided pro bono service in New York state, and to inspire other senior attorneys to use their legal knowledge and experience to provide assistance to underserved members of the community. By naming this award in honor of former Chief Judge Lippman, the Senior Lawyers Section also seeks to honor inspiring judicial leaders who have zealously championed the cause of access to justice and have encouraged and supported the unique contributions of senior attorneys to the pro bono mission. Judge Lippman will join us at 9 a.m. to present awards to Anthony H. Szczygiel of Buffalo, Center for Elder Law & Justice, Joan Lia Levy of Tarrytown, who works with the Pro Bono Partnership, and Blaine (Fin) Fogg, President of the Legal Aid Society (NYC).

Bruce Lawrence is chair of the creditor’s rights practice group at Boylan Code in Rochester.