On November 16th, 2023, AABANY hosted a Pre-Holiday Multi-Bar Association Gathering at Broadridge Financial Solutions, located at 605 3rd Avenue. This event served not only as an opportunity for members of different bar associations to come together but also represented AABANY’s continuing commitment to this year’s theme, “Embracing Wellness and Well-Being – Strengthening the Legal Profession by Investing in Ourselves.” The event was co-sponsored by the Armenian Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, FALA New York, the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York,the Jewish Lawyer’s Guild, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, the LGBT Bar of New York, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association,the New York City Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, the New York State Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of New York, and the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens.
Recognizing that the holiday season can be challenging for many attorneys, AABANY aimed to spread the pre-holiday cheer and create a supportive network within the legal community. The event kicked off with a Potluck Dinner, to foster a sense of community and camaraderie among attendees. Each co-sponsoring bar association brought something special to the table, contributing to the potluck, bringing to the table culinary offerings as diverse as the New York legal community. From savory dishes to sweet delights, the spread featured an array of flavors that tantalized the taste buds and sparked conversations around the communal tables. Breaking bread together, attorneys from different backgrounds shared stories and experiences, creating connections that extend beyond the legal realm.
After the Potluck Dinner, attendees settled in for a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, delving into crucial aspects of attorney well-being. Steering the discussion was Joseph Eng, Counsel at King & Spalding LLP and AABANY’s President-Elect. In a heartfelt address, Joseph openly shared his personal struggles with burnout and the ongoing pursuit of a healthy work-life balance. He took the opportunity to introduce the Lawyers Assistance Program by the NYC Bar, emphasizing its profound impact on the legal community. Building on Joseph’s poignant remarks, Eileen Travis, the Executive Director of the program, provided in-depth insights into the comprehensive services offered by the Lawyers Assistance Program. Following her, Sara Ellis, the Interim President of the Lawyers Depression Project, offered her perspective on the mental health and wellness challenges attorneys face. The narrative continued with Gayle Damiano, a motivational speaker, sharing compelling insights into the nuances of drug abuse and the transformative power of embracing change. The program culminated with a thought-provoking Q&A panel, allowing attendees to engage directly with the speakers. This interactive session provided a platform for meaningful dialogue, fostering a deeper understanding of the well-being resources available to legal professionals.
AABANY’s Pre-Holiday Multi-Bar Association Gathering was ultimately more than just an event—it was a testament to the legal community’s commitment to well-being and mutual support. By combining the joy of the holiday season with a focus on mental health resources, AABANY demonstrated the importance of fostering a strong, interconnected legal profession.
If you have ideas for programs or speakers on the topic of wellness and well-being, please contact President Karen Kim at [email protected].