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Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association virtually welcomes members back after summer

September 21, 2020 Robert Abruzzese
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Every year, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association holds an annual membership party in the fall to welcome its members back from the summer.

This year’s event had to be held online over Zoom due to the pandemic, but association President Natoya McGhie managed to keep the online party going with a live DJ, trivia and gift cards. She also had Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, from the Appellate Division, Second Department, briefly interview members online.

“This is our annual event, where we welcome all of our members back after the summer,” McGhie said. “This year we obviously have to have it on Zoom so we have planned an interactive event.”

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Clockwise from top left: Natoya McGhie, Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, DJ Ashley, Zaraya Wade and Joy Thompson.

McGhie outlined some of her plans for the year at the start of the event — she has a “Lunch with a Judge” event planned every month, including lunch with Justice Alan Scheinkman, the presiding judge of the Appellate Division, Second Department, on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

There are also lots of continuing legal education seminars planned, including one with Fern Finkel on trusts and estates on Tuesday, Sept. 22, and another on ethics with Andrea Bonina and Michael Ross on Friday, Oct. 2.

The BWBA will also host its Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 30, where it will honor Justice Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick and Doralyn De Dios, the president of the Dominican Bar Association. They will also present a scholarship to a law school student.

Marty Lentz was one of the members spotlighted.

McGhie also announced that the BWBA is working on creating a Community Service Committee this year that will be aimed at creating programs to help people in Brooklyn.

“We’re also going to work our theme of mentorship into other programs throughout the year,” McGhie said. “We also launch our newsletter. If you haven’t had the chance, the summer newsletter is on our site, and we encourage all of our members to submit their announcements so we can highlight their achievements.”

The event was organized with the help of the BWBA Mentorship Committee, which is composed of Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Sue Novick Wasko, Carrie Anne Cavallo, Deborah Johnson, Zaraya Wade and Carolyn Caccese.

Dorka Pinnix was also spotlighted.

“Brooklyn is my home chapter, and I am so proud to be a part of this chapter,” said Joy Thompson, president of the Women’s Bar Association for the State of New York. “You will see how amazing it is. It’s over 100 years old, just having celebrated its centennial a couple years ago. When you join the Brooklyn chapter, you become a part of something greater too. You have the opportunity to be active in your own chapter and at the state level. That’s how I ended up getting involved.”

Throughout the event, there was music played by DJ Ashley. There were trivia questions about the association’s history, and Justice Hinds-Radix took breaks to highlight individual members, including Marty Lentz and Dorka Pinnix, among others. Lentz talked about her gardening secrets, and Pinnix said that she has been trying to encourage other lawyers to remain active during the pandemic.

BWBA President Natoya McGhie outlined some of the association’s upcoming events and explained that many will feature her theme of mentorship.

“I love gardening,” said Lentz. “It’s so nice to connect with nature, be outside, and be in silence in peace. The secret to my roses is that I keep a garbage pail on my kitchen counter with a lid so it doesn’t smell too badly and I put banana peels, eggshells and coffee grinds. At the end of the week, I use a blender and blend it together and use it on my roses. I get beautiful flowers out of it.”


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