Number of Years as a Member of the WCBA and positions held: Approximately 12 years. I have been a board member since 2015 and am co-chair of the Women in the Law Committee. I am the 9th District Vice President to the New York State Bar Association and serve as such on its Executive Committee and in the House of Delegates.
My current job and practice area are: I have been a partner in my two partner law firm for the past 14 years practicing mostly criminal defense. I am in the process of dissolving that practice to explore other opportunities. I am interested in working as a supervisor or in an administrative position for a legal services organization, government office or in a law firm setting. I am interested in teaching trial advocacy or in a clinical program at the law school level. I would also like to pursue legislative and policy making.
One of my favorite legal success stories include: I have done many trials and hearings but some stand out. I represented a Westchester Professional Engineer in a complex three-week fraud trial. After the jury was hung (11-1 in my client’s favor), my client received a very favorable disposition without any jail time or probation. I am proud to say that my client maintained her professional license and her career trajectory was unaffected.
My Legal Mentor is: While I have been blessed with many mentors, who have guided me throughout my career, my first mentor, Ronald Bekoff, criminal defense attorney, has been with me since day one. He continues to advise me and mentor me to this day. He was one of my teachers at a NITA trial advocacy program while I was in law school.
I then became an instructor at that same program after I was in practice for several years and we taught along side one another. Since then, I founded and created the NYSBA Young Lawyer Section’s Trial Academy, which teaches young and transitional attorneys trial techniques. Mr. Bekoff was one of the first faculty members of that program, and he and I have served as faculty members side my side for the past eight years. I am a team leader and lecture on cross-examination at that program as well. I am proud that the 8th annual Trial Academy will be held in April of 2017 at Cornell University School of Law.
One of my future ambitions is: To Improve and reform the administration of Criminal Justice in our State, be President of NYSBA, and teach trial advocacy at the law school level.
People may be surprised to learn: I am an avid equestrian and scuba diver. I’ve been riding since I was eight years old and competed on the National Horse Show circuit during high school. Since I moved to Westchester in 2000, I ride at Echo Farm in South Salem, where I keep my horse. I’ve been scuba diving for over 15 years. Some of my favorite diving spots include Vieques, Puerto Rico; Roatan, Honduras and the Grand Cayman Islands.
The best thing I did to improve my skill set as an attorney: Work in the Bronx DA’s office for four years from 1995-1999. When I left, I was prosecuting violent crimes in one of its trial bureaus.
The best hour of my day is: When I can spend an hour riding my horse.
Favorite movies: The Godfather, Scarface, Pretty Woman, Untouchables, Johnny Dangerously, Princess Bride and Saturday Night Fever.
Favorite Books: A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mysts of Avalon and The Celestine Prophecy.
Three things I can’t live without: My three kids, the beach and horses.
One of my favorite things to do in Westchester: Hike or horseback ride in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
Last time I was out of my comfort zone: I was in India riding through the countryside in a caravan consisting of the wedding party and guests. All of a sudden our driver drove off into the dirt roads between the farms to avoid an uprising in the town ahead.
Best advice I ever got: Wait until you are in the right position to make a change and then give it all you’ve got.
My advice to new lawyers: Always listen to your gut and your instincts.
My favorite part of being involved with the WCBA: Working to make a difference for the profession.