Managing Partner, Brown Hutchinson LLP
Years in current role:26
What do you enjoy most about your role?
While I have enjoyed practicing law and serving clients at the highest level, I have also enjoyed using my legal skills and experiences to drive policy initiatives and change on a much broader level, seeking to influence and impact our community and society on a much bigger plane.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
In my capacity as managing partner of a thriving law firm, the challenge during this past pandemic year was keeping many balls afloat while finding creative ways for serving our clients both locally and across the state. And in my capacity as vice chancellor, and acting chancellor, New York State Board of Regents, for much of the past year, driving change influencing hundreds of thousands of students, educational staff, families and citizens working within or impacted by New York’s educational systems.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?
The next 3-5 years will be significant for those within the legal profession. This past year provided insight to changes ahead. Those who are creative, inventive and willing to adapt, will find new opportunities to take advantage of. Those slow, or unwilling, to adapt and embrace societal and technological advancements will fail to recognize opportunities and the need for change which will inevitably lead to their, and their clients’, detriment.
In my capacity as incoming president of the New York State Bar Association, I will have the privilege starting June1 of leading the largest voluntary state bar association in the United States, serving more than 70,000 attorneys and judges within our membership. I will have the privilege and the honor of helping to shape the legal profession in its service to the needs of clients and society as we come out of COVID. The law profession, as every other line of industry, will have to search for what will be the new normal. No doubt, the law profession has been impacted by the pandemic in ways that will continue for the rest of my lifetime. I plan to devote considerable energies to serving the interests not only of the legal profession, but the broader community that we serve. Lawyers have a unique opportunity to speak to issues of liberty and justice, ideals that have been under siege of late like we have not seen in a long time. Any lawyer worthy of wearing the title should be willing to find voice to champion this cause. I plan to be at the front of the line.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
Reconnecting and working to rebuild a sense of community, both personally and professionally. If this past year has taught me anything, it is that life is short and every day matters.