Brooklyn Bar Association rich in community programs

February 9, 2015 Anna Spivak
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Brooklyn Bar to the rescue!

Through a variety of programs and services, the Brooklyn Bar Association has been aiding Brooklynites on the legal front since 1872.

With programs like its Lawyer Referral Service, Continuing Legal Education program, free law and advice courses open to the public, plus different scholarship opportunities, and over 55 committees, the legal services staple has become a go-to outlet for Brooklyn residents seeking advice on a variety of matters concerning law.

“There are three components that the Bar Association stands on,” said Executive Director Avery Eli Okin, Esq. “We have a Continuing Legal Education program, and offer live programs and video tape programs for recertification of [lawyer’s] licenses. We do about 40 live programs a year and a certain amount of credits have to be in ethics. We do some big items in terms of camaraderie and cordial relations among the members, and [then there is] the networking opportunity.”

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The association hosts a number of events and gatherings to keep up relations between its members, according to Okin. It holds a Senior Judiciary night, when administrative judges and newly appointed judges throughout Brooklyn come together to become familiarized with the association’s membership. The Bar Association Foundation Annual Dinner is also big for its members, creating a “huge opportunity for Bench and Bar to be together.”

In terms of other important services, the BBA has been nationally recognized for its Lawyer Referral Program—in place since the 1950s, something that director of the program, Roseann Hiebert, says is a “definite plus” when looking at the association’s longstanding relationship with the community.

“We’re always here and we’re always going to be here,” said Hiebert. “We have a level of expectation and the community has a level of expectation for us.”

According to the association’s website, the referral service is Brooklyn’s oldest and largest, and is the only referral service in Brooklyn that has been certified by the American Bar Association, referring clients to over 150 prescreened attorneys, specializing in “virtually all areas of the law” within the five boroughs and the neighboring counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, and Westchester.

Okin also spoke about additional programs like the Law Library run by the foundation, pre-law scholarships given out to sons and daughters of New York City civil service employees, and public education programs during which attorneys come in and speak to the general public about different legal matters like bankruptcy, foreclosure, or what to do to help elderly parents.

For more information on the different programs and services offered by the Brooklyn Bar, visit


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