A Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)

President's Message - June 2024

by Sherry A. Bishko

I cannot help but reflect on how lucky I am for having reaped the many benefits of all the Westchester Women’s Bar Association has had to offer for nearly two decades.  In 2006, I walked into the law firm of Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP for a job interview with Past WWBA Presidents Linda Markowitz, Esq. and Kathy N. Rosenthal, Esq.  Their first question was, “Are you a member of the WWBA?”  They immediately signed me up as a new member, then hired me, in that order!

            I have had the opportunity to serve the WWBA as Recording Secretary, Vice President, and, most recently, as President-Elect.  For me, however, the most rewarding roles with the WWBA have been serving as co-chair of both the Membership and Mentorship Committees.  In these capacities, I am able to speak with individual WWBA members, work with our attorney mentors and law student mentees, and get to know them as individuals.  Each of our 550 members brings a unique set of incredible skills and accomplishments to the WWBA.  The WWBA’s membership is our value, strength, and power. 

            As incoming WWBA President, I am committed to expanding our membership but need your help.  The WWBA, WBASNY, and other Bar Associations throughout the country are seeing steep declines in Bar membership.  The American Bar Association has witnessed a 30% drop in member dues since 2017.  Newly admitted attorneys are failing to see the value of Bar membership and seasoned attorneys who are Bar members will be retiring in the next decade as part of the “gray wave.” 

Our WWBA membership declined during COVID but we have worked hard to increase membership to pre-pandemic levels and we are now the second largest chapter of WBASNY.  My mission as President is to continue to build on this growth.  The WWBA Mentorship Program is flourishing and we have over 100 student members who we work with to impart the value of the WWBA including professional development, networking and leadership opportunities.  This year our mentorship committee paired dozens of student mentees with WWBA member attorneys and organized several programs for student mentees at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, including a family law panel, a career panel, and a speed networking event.  Our goal is to engage our WWBA student members and encourage them to see the value of the WWBA and to segue into full members upon graduation. 

What can you do?  As a WWBA member I am asking you to first renew your membership.  Our membership year runs from June 1, 2024 to May 31, 2025.  Consequently, your timely renewal frees up our membership committee to focus on growth in new membership rather than chasing renewals.  Additionally, please get involved.  Come to our Board meetings, join a committee, and participate in our many volunteer opportunities.  Finally, I am asking each and every current WWBA member to bring in a new member to the WWBA.  If each member can enroll one new member for the 2024-2025 year, we will double our membership.  Again, since the WWBA’s value is our members, think of how much value each new member will contribute! 

            I am thrilled to kick off this year.  It is the WWBA’s “Golden Anniversary” – we are 50 years old!  To that end, I look forward to expanding and growing the WWBA with you! 

Renew your membership HERE.

PO Box 926, Hartsdale, NY 10530
Phone: (914) 505-6045

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