Myrna Felder

Highlights of Presidency:

As for the year of my Presidency, 1986-1987, the highlight of the year was the issuance of the Report of the Task Force on the Status of Women after a year of work by the Task Force on which four WBASNY members served. In the Introduction to the Report, the role of WBASNY in its establishment was gratefully acknowledged.

She organized WBASNY’s Matrimonial and Family Law Committee in 1983 – its first substantive committee, and she remains a resource at the state and local level. Ms. Felder is the recipient of numerous awards, including the NYWBA President’s Special Award.

Reflections on WBASNY at 40:

On the weekend of April 18-20, 1980 the five chapters of the newly formed organization gathered together at Grossinger’s Hotel in the Catskills to formally inaugurate the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.

How could we have dreamed as Joan Ellenbogen did, that forty years later, that small group would consist of many chapters all across the State with thousands of members working for the advancement of women and equal rights for all.

After all, in 1980 there was not a single woman on any of the four Appellate Divisions let alone on the Court of Appeals. Elevation of one woman after another to these Courts was just one of the successes achieved in part from our efforts, with the result that many of the present generation of women lawyers do not even recognize the many doors which were so painstakingly unlocked for them.

What the founders may not have comprehended at the time was the joy of a organization of women (and some men as well) where we could meet our colleagues around the State to share our professional and personal concerns; engage in CLE and other such activities; reach out to those who needed our support; and meet each year at a Convention within the State and without; only put on hold by COVID but surely to be reinstated once this once in a century danger has passed.

It’s been a glorious Forty Years! Here’s to the next forty!