2016 WWBA Awards
Diversity Achievement Award
The Diversity Committee of the Westchester Women's Bar Association is pleased to announce that Legal Services of The Hudson Valley (LSHV) has been selected as the 2016 winner of the WWBA Diversity Achievement Award! LSHV is the largest provider in the lower Hudson Valley of free civil legal services for the indigent and plays a prominent role in the representation of the region's diverse communities. We extend our sincere congratulations to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley on this well-deserved award. The award will be presented to LSHV at the WWBA's Annual Dinner on June 8, 2016 at Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club. We hope you can join us for a wonderful evening.
Pace Setter Award
Dolores Gebhardt, Past President and long-standing active member of the Westchester Women's Bar Association, has been named the winner of the Pace Setter Award! This prestigious honor is the highest award granted in the annual Above the Bar Awards, which are co-sponsored by Westchester County Business Journal and Citrin Cooperman. The Pace Setter Award is awarded to an attorney who exemplifies overall excellence in professional and community work and prominence in the Westchester legal profession. Dolores Gebhardt is a dedicated advocate who is well respected by peers and community, and we couldn't be more proud of her significant achievement. Please remember to send in your response card for the WWBA Annual Dinner on June 8th at Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club - see you then!
Family Friendly Employer Award
The Lawyering and Parenting Committee of the Westchester Women's Bar Association is pleased to announce that Yankwitt LLP has been selected as the 2016 winner of the WWBA Family Friendly Employer Award! Yankwitt LLP is a sophisticated boutique commercial litigation firm in White Plains. The firm has demonstrated a strong commitment to balancing work and family, resulting in high employee morale and the ability to attract and maintain high-quality lawyers and staff.
We extend our sincere congratulations to Yankwitt LLP on this well-deserved award. The award will be presented to Yankwitt LLP at the WWBA's Annual Dinner on June 8, 2016 at Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club. We hope you can join us for a wonderful evening.
Karen Z. Bell
The WWBA is pleased to announce that Meryl Fishbone has been selected as the 2016 winner of the Karen Z. Bell Moderate Means Panel Award. She was chosen in recognition of her selfless efforts to provide legal services in matrimonial and family law cases to clients with limited financial resources.
❑ WWBA member Patricia Lenard Angley, Fordham Law School Class of 1987, was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States on March 7, 2016 as part of the Fordham University School of Law group admission ceremony. Ms. Angley’s mother, Mary S. Lenard, a member of the Fordham Law School Class of 1955, was also admitted. Mrs. Lenard celebrated the 60th anniversary of her admission to the New York Bar and was one of three women who graduated from her law school class. Mrs. Lenard commented on how inspiring it was to see three women justices on the bench of the Supreme Court. The Fordham group was privileged to personally meet Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas after the ceremony.
Interview of the Month
An Interview with Cindy Kanusher
Susan L. Pollet
Q: You have been devoted to the Pace Women’s Justice Center for many years now. Can you tell us about your legal career before working at the PWJC, and about everything you have accomplished while at the PWJC.
A: I always knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. My father was a criminal defense attorney, as was my grandfather, and I used to go to court and watch them work. I was intrigued by how the justice system could be used to help those most in need. I knew very early in law school that I would pursue a career in public service. Upon graduation, I was elated to have been offered a job as a prosecutor at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where I worked for almost 10 years. I quickly began working on domestic violence and sex crimes cases. I transferred to the Office’s Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Bureau when it was created, and there, I worked for several years prosecuting felony domestic violence and child abuse cases. Finally, during the last 2 years of my time at the Office, I worked in the Special Prosecutions Bureau, where I prosecuted financial crimes and also worked on elder abuse cases.
I started working at the PWJC 17 years ago, and much of my work has involved training, outreach and education. Initially, my responsibilities included training prosecutors, law enforcement officers, emergency first responders and advocates throughout rural parts of New York State on the tools and techniques needed to effectively prosecute sexual assault and domestic violence cases. Over the years, my responsibilities have expanded to include various other areas, including running the training component of the Westchester County Family Justice Center, overseeing the PWJC’s teen dating violence training program, and working closely with the staff at the Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale to create a model domestic violence in the workplace program. As part of that program, we developed policies and protocols for effective response and intervention, and in that regard, we have trained almost 2000 staff members. I have also overseen the PWJC’s elder justice unit, and until quite recently, I served as the project coordinator of Westchester County’s Abuse in Later Life grant. For the past 8 years, I served as the PWJC’s assistant director, and in that role, I worked closely with the PWJC’s prior Executive Director, Jane Aoyama-Martin, to expand our civil legal services and pro bono programs. I became the Executive Director of PWJC this past June.
by Robin D. Carton, Esq.
In this last column of my Presidency, it is tempting to talk about how much I enjoyed my tenure in this role, how bittersweet it is that my time in office is coming to an end, and how excited I am for the incoming President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. All of those remarks would be appropriate and true.
However, instead of focusing on the end of a term and the beginning of a new one, the more apt and macro view of our organization must be centered on its membership. The Westchester Women’s Bar Association does not rise and fall with the installation of officers and its success does not depend on who is at the helm.
You, the members of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, are the lifeblood of the organization. You, the members, inspire the leadership to serve you and your community and to enhance the community’s respect for the legal profession.