From the President: Carey R. Dunne
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Barbara Berger Opotowsky to Step Down as City Bar
Executive Director

City Bar Releases Diversity Benchmarking Report
City Bar’s Legal Referral Service Launches Civil Court Project
Fordham School of Law Wins Moot Court Competition at City Bar
City Bar in the News
Small Law Firm Month Special Offer

President's Letter
Responding to Hurricane Sandy

If New York City Bar Association members are good in a crisis, it’s unfortunately because they’ve had a lot of experience. In the aftermath of 9/11, the mayor announced that the City Bar would have pro bono lawyers ready for victims and their families. The next day, we had hundreds of volunteers lined up down 44th Street and onto Sixth Avenue for training. Following Katrina, the City Bar and the City Bar Justice Center shared our 9/11 experience with our counterpart lawyers in New Orleans, and after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, we helped Haitians here receive Temporary Protected Status. So it has been in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Read more.

This Week at the City Bar
9 AM – 12 PM,
Google Search Tricks, Cloud Apps & Research Tips (Video Replay)

1 PM – 4 PM,
Internet Investigative Research Strategies for the Legal Professional (Video Replay)

7 PM – 9 PM,
After the Flood: Climate Change Adaptation and the Region’s Energy and Land Use Challenges

9 AM – 10:30 AM,
Licensing, Naming Rights & Sponsorship Agreements in the Sports & Entertainment Industries (Video Replay)

Around the Bar
Welcome to…Merton Watts?

The City Bar became “Merton Watts Investments” for a day, as the CBS series “Person of Interest” filmed on November 15th for an upcoming episode. The production had been flooded out of its original location downtown by Hurricane Sandy.

Barbara Berger Opotowsky to Step Down as Executive Director of the City Bar
Barbara Berger Opotowsky, Executive Director of the New York City Bar Association, will step down in May 2013, after a 15-year tenure. “It has been a privilege to serve an association with such a rich tradition and dedication to the highest principles of the profession. I have been honored to work with true leaders of the Bar who have shown an unwavering commitment to a just society, and an amazingly talented staff,” said Opotowsky.

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Despite Some Advances, City Bar Diversity Benchmarking Report Shows Diversity Remains a Challenge for NYC Law Firms
Despite some gains over the past year, New York City law firms continue to face challenges in the area of diversity, concludes the New York City Bar Association’s sixth Diversity Benchmarking Report. The 2011 diversity results paint a picture of stagnation for women and minority attorneys. At the micro level there are improvements to be celebrated, interspersed with signs of slippage.…We are encouraged to find that firms with a critical mass of women on their management committees, defined as three or more, reported better results for women attorneys at every level.

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City Bar’s Legal Referral Service Launches Civil Court Project
Recognizing the difficulty individuals and small businesses have in finding representation on matters in Civil Court for disputes involving amounts ranging from $7,000 to $25,000, the New York City Bar Association’s Legal Referral Service has launched a Civil Court Project. The project provides representation by well-qualified, screened attorneys at reduced fees. There are no income guidelines or restrictions on those who might benefit from the project.

Read more.

Fordham School of Law Wins Regional Moot Court Competition at the City Bar
Fordham University School of Law won the regional rounds of the 63rd Annual National Moot Court Competition, which took place November 14–15 at the New York City Bar Association. The winning team consisted of Danielle Austin, Peter Bryce and Michael Keough. New York University Law School, represented by Debra McElligott and Justin Roller, took second-place honors. Both teams will advance to the final rounds in early 2013. Thirty winning and runner-up teams from 15 regions across the United States will compete in the final rounds of the competition, January 28–31, at the City Bar.

Read more.

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, November 14, 2012

City Bar Executive Director Set to Step Down in May
Barbara Berger Opotowsky, the executive director of the New York City Bar, is stepping down in May after a 15-year tenure. ‘While the decision to leave the City Bar, an organization I look at as a family, has not been an easy one, I am excited and energized by the thought of starting a new chapter in life,’ she said in a statement. Carey Dunne, the bar group’s president and a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, said he has formed a search committee, which includes himself and former past leaders of the bar group.”

ABA Journal, November 15, 2012

Report Finds ‘Stagnation’ in Diversity at New York City Law Firms
“Diversity remains a challenge for New York City law firms, according to a 2011 Diversity Benchmarking Report released on Wednesday. The report (PDF) by the New York City Bar Association says its survey results ‘paint a picture of stagnation for women and minority attorneys. At the micro-level there are improvements to be celebrated, most small, interspersed with signs of slippage.’ The bar compiled the information from a survey of 74 New York City law firms that signed its statement of diversity principles.”

Small Law Firm Month Special Offer:
Counseling with the City Bar's Small Law Firm Director

Meet with Alla Roytberg, Small Law Firm Director, to discuss starting and running a solo practice or small law firm. Members who start in November can take advantage of up to three free sessions (after the initial session, a $50 per session fee usually applies). Email to schedule an appointment.

Don’t forget to pay your dues by November 27th to receive a free, up to 3.0 credit, CLE program. Learn more.

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