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Youngest President Of Bay Ridge Lawyers Is Sworn In at First Live Meeting Since COVID-19

October 14, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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This might sound like a bit of a stretch, but hear us out: A potential client, visiting the recent meeting of the Bay Ridge Lawyers, might well assume that to hire one of them is to have the good will and counsel of the whole group behind you. They seem to be just that unified and supportive of each other.

The enduring friendship and collegiality of the longstanding Southern Brooklyn group, founded in 1954, can best be exemplified in their annual Passing of the Gavel ceremony.

When a new president is sworn in, as happened Wednesday night with popular young attorney Will Gillen, a long line of past presidents, arranged in chronological order, passed the Presidential Gavel from one to another until it reached Gillen.

Each past president commented on their predecessor and successor. Basically, the ceremony served as a collective reminder of their common goal: to love and honor their profession, the practice of law. But it also served as a revival of vows to love and honor each other in the bonds of their Bay Ridge Lawyers Association.

It was a rare treat and a privilege for a visitor to observe.

And it was the first live, in-person meeting held by the association since COVID.

William S. Gillen is one of the youngest presidents to take the helm, and perhaps the only member who has been known to wear a kilt and play the bagpipes. Of Scottish origin, Gillen grew up in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, where he still lives.

Memorable in the recent archives before COVID pandemic struck is a 2019 Eagle article about seven members of the association travelling together to Washington, D.C. All seven were officially sworn in to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A year later the was an article headlined, “No CLE, But Bay Ridge Lawyers Will Meet Via Zoom.”

As one members has said, “No pandemic could stop these members from getting together. It’s one of the most dedicated, close-knit legal associations in the state.”


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