Brooklyn Boro

Women’s Bar Association paint and sip event draws in younger and new attorneys

July 10, 2019 Rob Abruzzese

In the days of ever-increasing tuition costs and rising student loan debt, along with the proliferation of social media like LinkedIn and Facebook, newer attorneys have shied away from joining bar associations.

This is why the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association created the Young Lawyers Committee, in an attempt to draw in a younger crowd. That committee is barely older than two years, but it already has begun to attract new members and has a signature event — the annual paint and sip.

“This is a great way to have fun, mingle and introduce more experienced attorneys to younger attorneys,” said Meryl Schwartz, who was recently installed as the new BWBA president. “It’s a great way to ease into it. It’s not stressful, especially because I’m not the one doing the work.”

Pictured from left: Sue Novick Wasko, artist R.T. Morgan, Hon. Genine Edwards, Natoya McGhie, Meryl Schwartz, Hon. Marsha Steinhardt, Zoila Del Castillo, Danielle Ciraola, Marea Wachsman, Dwayne Allen Thomas, Susan Master, Madeline D. Kirton, Judith Aarons and Ieshah Mapp, from Music Paint Sip.

There were about 15 BWBA members at the second annual paint and sip event that was held on Tuesday at Darioush Persian Restaurant on Montague Street where artist R.T. Morgan, from Music Paint Sip, instructed attendees on how to paint the scales of justice.

“This is the second year we’re doing it,” said Natoya McGhie. “It was so successful last year that we had to do it again. We’re already thinking about hosting a third next year. We think this will become an annual event. Last time we painted Lady Justice so we decided to keep the legal theme again this year with the scales of justice.”

The co-chairs of the Young Lawyers Committee are Justice Genine Edwards and McGhie. The two explained that even without a huge crowd, the connections made at the event have proven valuable.

Meryl Schwartz was recently installed as the president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.

“I was mentored in this bar association and I’m not going to be a young lawyer forever, so we’re looking to finding people who need mentors so we can bring them in,” McGhie said. “We feel like the committee has been really helpful. You see Madeline Kirton on the board, Lauren Arnel on the board. We try to develop people who come to events. Sam Breakstone was put on a committee and she got so involved, it was great to see. We just want new people, younger attorneys, newly admitted attorneys.”

One attorney in attendance has only been practicing for six months and has quickly found mentors at the BWBA.

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“It’s good because the young lawyers, like the two women sitting across from me, are much younger than I am,” Schwartz said. “One has only been a lawyer for six months. She told me that one day she wants to be a judge so we put her next to Judge Marsha Steinhardt.”

Zoila Del Castillo puts on the finishing touches.

The BWBA Young Lawyers Committee doesn’t have finalized plans for its next event yet. However, it is tentatively planning a roller-skating event in September.

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