NYS Bar Association House of Delegates Meeting 2020

New York State Bar Association House of Delegates Meeting
January 31, 2020
Excerpts of Remarks by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore on the Legal Profession


On Lawyer Skills and Values

Each year, approximately 8,000 new lawyers are admitted to practice law in our state – a staggering number for a profession that enjoys the privilege of self-regulation. 

Our New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law has developed a superb Handbook on Legal Skills and Professional Values to help us make sure that newly admitted attorneys possess the skills and values that are necessary to practice law competently, -- and ethically.

Last December, the Administrative Board of the Courts approved the Handbook for:

  • Use by the 15 law schools here in New York State;
  • For distribution to every new attorney admitted to practice at our bar admission ceremonies;
  • As well as inclusion in our Bridge the Gap CLE programs.

One of the reasons we have endorsed the Handbook is the strong emphasis it places on the role of lawyers as:

  • Officers of the court sworn to defend the constitution and the rule of law;
  • And as public citizens with special responsibilities to promote justice and serve the public.  

I commend the Handbook to each one of you for your review, -- and as a wonderful reminder of the many reasons we all choose to pursue our calling.