Alumna Leber Is President of New York State Bar Association

Alumna Leber Is President of New York State Bar Association


Press Contact: Sonia von Gutfeld, 212-854-1453, [email protected]

June 10, 2008 (NEW YORK) – Columbia Law School alumna Bernice K. Leber ’78 has become the 111th president of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), the nation’s largest voluntary state bar. This marks the first time NYSBA will have back-to-back woman presidents.

Leber’s extensive agenda for the upcoming year includes a number of projects to help attorneys best serve their clients as well as society. She will create a task force to find ways to prevent wrongful convictions, and a committee to address concerns of solo and small-firm practitioners and build upon recommendations in a 2006 report issued on the subject by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye.

Leber also has asked the NYSBA Intellectual Property Section to study privacy rights of lawyers to better protect attorneys and their clients; the Commerical and Federal Litigation section to study conditions of courthouses, especially family courts, across the state and recommend ways to make them more user-friendly; and the Environmental Law Section to update its 1994 report on global climate change.

Leber plans to continue Immediate Past-President Kathryn Grant Madigan’s priorities to increase NYSBA membership, increase funding for civil legal services for the poor, extend the right to counsel to New Yorkers in certain civil matters, and support NYSBA’s legislative goals.

Leber, a partner at Arent Fox LLP, has been a trial lawyer for 28 years. Her practice focuses primarily on intellectual property, securities and complex financial and business disputes. She earned her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1975.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.