President's Message - September 2019
by Angela Morcone Giannini, Esq.
A watershed moment is a turning point; the exact moment that changes the direction of an activity or situation.
That moment for women and families of Westchester County and the State of New York occurred in the mid 1970’s when a group of twelve women including our honoree, The Honorable Sondra Miller, gathered in a living room here in Westchester recognizing the need to advance the social, economic and legal status for women through the law while promoting justice for all, regardless of sex. In order to accomplish this, they established the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. The mission of our organization remains the same today.
Many have ideas, but these women put their ideas in motion and acted upon them. They saw far and went far. But these women did not stop there. In 1980, they worked to establish the statewide organization known as the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York which we refer to as WBASNY and the WWBA today is one of its largest chapters having great influence on pending legislation and future legislation impacting the lives of women, children and families.
The WWBA continues today as strong as ever due to the tireless efforts and sacrifices of our Past Presidents, Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs. It has always impressed me how our members work so hard to bring ideas into action not for their own recognition but for the betterment of our membership and community. One perfect example is the newly formed Mentorship program established by our now immediate past president, Kim Berg. This type of giving back is symbolic of the WWBA and I am proud and committed to continuing this program and call upon those in our audience who are not already participating to join as mentors. Kim has been an inspiration to me this year and I have learned so much about leadership from her while serving as President Elect for which I am very grateful.
I have always believed that it is a privilege to practice law. As lawyers we take an oath to support the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York. We are privileged to be advocates for those in need whether an individual, company or organization. We are indeed the voices for those that need to be heard. We make their cause, our cause. We are the indispensable guardians of our system of justice ensuring there is an organized resolution of disputes where all are given a full and fair opportunity to be heard. As officers of the Court, it is our duty and responsibility to conduct ourselves in a civil manner, respectful of both our adversaries and the litigants. When we act civilly toward each other, we promote the values of a democratic society and the very integrity upon which our justice system was built. While no system is perfect, in my opinion, there is no better system in the world today than the great democracy in which we live.
I see my role as President also as a privilege. I thank the Presidents before me for their confidence in me and promise to continue their good work toward our mission with civility and integrity. I very much look forward to working with our newly elected officers and directors and our executive director to ensure that the voices of our members and our community are indeed heard. I thank my law partner Lucille and my entire firm for their encouragement and support as I take on this new role. Most especially, I thank my family for their love, support and sacrifices and for making everyday a better day for me.
Collaboration is an important part of growth, renewal and advancement. As President, I will be dedicated to this organization’s collaboration with other bar associations and community groups. I strongly believe it is the responsibility of our members to reach out to attorneys of all gender, orientation and race to welcome them as members and encourage them to take on leadership roles within our organization. Commitment to a forum where different views can be freely expressed will help us successfully recruit and retain new lawyers which will promote the advancement of our association and our legal profession.
So please join me as we work toward new watershed moments. I welcome your ideas and look forward to working with you as “we see far and go far” in the year ahead!