Dear NYSASA Colleagues:
I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who might not know me. My name is Pilar Sokol, and I am the 2022 President of the New York State Association of School Attorneys (NYSASA).
It is a privilege to serve in that capacity particularly during what is a milestone year for the Association.
- NYSASA turns 65 this year.
- 2022 marks the first year of implementation of a strategic plan adopted by the NYSASA Board of Directors at its November 2021 meeting, that provides for greater membership involvement.
- In 2021 NYSASA’s membership exceeded 200 members – a reflection of the continuing growth in both the practice of school law and the number of attorneys representing school districts and BOCES.
NYSASA’s 65 years of success are a testament to its standing as a truly unique organization.
From its very beginning it has been single-mindedly dedicated to helping attorneys representing school districts and BOCES in New York discharge their duties as school attorneys as efficiently as possible.
NYSASA members are general counsel, labor relations specialists, special education attorneys, and specialize in various other school law related areas such as discrimination and student rights. They work in private firms, BOCES, as in-district counsel, including the New York City Department of Education and other Big 5 school districts, and attorneys in the office of counsel at the state school boards association.
Their shared knowledge and experiences enable NYSASA to help state decision makers better understand school law related issues, and the actual and potential consequences of their actions on the school districts and BOCES that NYSASA members represent. They also have positioned NYSASA as a known and respected resource and authority in school law matters.
In addition, NYSASA’s live programming and educational materials are specifically designed to meet the continuously evolving needs of its members. The more known include:
- The annual meeting and three-day legal conference held in late May/early June at The Sagamore Hotel in Lake George, New York, which offers sessions on both basic topics and the latest issues of interest to school attorneys selected with input from the membership, and which allows school attorneys to learn while networking with their peers.
- The winter ethics webinar, usually held in February.
- Co-sponsorship of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) Annual Pre-Convention School Law Seminar held in October at a different location in New York each year, and which also provides an opportunity to share time with both clients and colleagues as it is attended by a significant number of school board members, superintendents, other officials and school attorneys from across the state.
- Regularly scheduled columns on cutting-edge legal issues published in OnBoard, NYSSBA’s newspaper.
NYSASA members also have the opportunity to engage in discussions with their colleagues through the NYSASA website’s members only listserv.
Together, the common and varied experiences of NYSASA members shared through programming and ongoing discussions enrich and strengthen the practice of school law for the mutual benefit of all school attorneys across the state.
The NYSASA Board of Directors looks forward to a bright 2022, with continued growth and greater membership involvement consistent with the goals of NYSASA’s new strategic plan.
If you are not a member yet, please join so you can enjoy the full benefits of membership.