Vital Statistics

History: The New York State Bar Association was founded at the state Capitol in Albany on November 21, 1876. It was incorporated by an act of the Legislature on May 2, 1877. 

Organization: The association is a 501(c)(6) private, nonprofit corporation.

Leadership: Hank Greenberg, President; Scott M. Karson, President-elect; Sherry Levin Wallach, Secretary; Domenick Napoletano, Treasurer. Officers serve a one-year term beginning June 1 of each year.

Staff: Executive Director Pamela McDevitt supervises a staff of 100 employees.

Membership: NYSBA is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It has members in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and more than 100 countries.

Membership gender breakdown: 63 percent male, 37 percent female.

Top three practice settings of members: private practice, 69 percent; in-house counsel, 8 percent; other, 4 percent.

Top areas of concentration of members: real property,14 percent; general civil litigation, 13 percent; corporate, 12 percent;  trusts and estates, 11 percent; business,11 percent; commercial litigation, 9 percent; general practice, 8 percent.

Budget: About $24 million a year.

Sections and committees: The association has 26 specialized law sections with membership sizes varying between 300 to 5,000 members. It also has more than 60 committees, special committees and task forces These entities sponsor conferences, seminars and institutes, monitor legislation and conduct studies. They contribute to policy-making, both in subject areas and association-wide. Many publish material dealing with their field of expertise, much of which is not available through commercial publishers.

Decision and policymaking bodies: The 281-member House of Delegates meets quarterly. The 30-member Executive Committee has the authority to act and speak for NYSBA, consistent with previous actions of the House, when the House is not in session.

Location: One Elk Street, Albany NY, 12207. Nationally acclaimed as an example of historic preservation, the 37,000-square-foot Bar Center comprises five 19th century row house linked to a newer complex. The design won the 1978 Progressive Architecture Design Award and the American Institute of Architecture's 1972 Honor Award.

Mission of the New York State Bar Association: (1) to cultivate the science of jurisprudence; (2) to promote reform in the law; (3) to facilitate the administration of justice; (4) to elevate the standard of integrity, honor, professional skill and courtesy in the legal profession; (5) to cherish and foster a spirit of collegiality among the members of the Association; (6) to apply its knowledge and experience in the field of law to promote the public good; (7) to promote and correlate the same and similar objectives in and among the bar organizations in the State of New York and in the interest of the legal profession and the public; (8) and to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York.

The New York State Bar Association is a voluntary membership bar association, and attorneys are not required to belong to NYSBA in order to practice in New York. NYSBA has no statutory or regulatory role relating to the certification or discipline of attorneys in New York State.

In certain other states, state bar associations handle attorney certification and ethics and disciplinary matters. Under New York law, these matters are handled by the New York State Unified Court System and the Office of Court Administration ( Complaints against attorneys are investigated by grievance committees appointed by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court. Information about the grievance process and contact information for the grievance committees is available at