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Justice Cheryl Chambers takes over as president of the New York Bar Foundation

June 12, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Justice Cheryl Chambers, associate justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department (right) — pictured here with Hon. Deborah Kaplan, Arthur Aidala — has been appointed as the new president of the New York Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the New York State Bar Association, effective June 1. Eagle photo by John McCarten
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The New York Bar Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the New York State Bar Association, has announced the appointment of Justice Cheryl E. Chambers as its new president, effective June 1. Joining her in leadership is David Schraver, who will serve as vice president.

Justice Chambers, currently an associate justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, has been recognized for her extensive contributions to the judiciary and legal community. With more than two decades of experience spanning law, finance and the nonprofit sector, she steps into her new role after serving as the foundation’s vice president and a member of its board of directors for a decade.

“Justice Chambers — who has more than 20 years’ experience in law, finance and the not-for-profit sector — brings a powerful perspective that will be crucial to the foundation as it fulfills its mission of investing in legal research and education, improving the administration of justice, and promoting the bar’s service to the public,” said Bernice Leber, past president of the New York Bar Association.

Past President Stephen Younger added, “Justice Chambers is a trusted advocate for social justice, and we know that her passion and expertise will guide the Foundation as it amplifies its efforts to make a real difference in the lives of those who it serves. The foundation is thrilled to have her in this important role.”

Justice Chambers, recognized as one of the most accomplished judges in New York’s judiciary, has been the foundation’s vice president and a member of its board of directors for 10 years. Appointed to the Appellate Division, Second Department, of the state Supreme Court in 2008, she was the second woman of color to serve in any Appellate Division in the state and the first to serve in a senior seat.

Justice Chambers, who is a member of the association’s Finance Committee and its governing body, the House of Delegates, said that she welcomed the challenge of the new position.

“I look forward to working with the board to advance the Foundation’s aim to promote access to justice, advocate for the rule of law and strengthen democratic values during one of the most challenging times in this country’s history,” Justice Chambers said. “I’ve long been impressed by the Foundation’s extraordinary work to improve the lives of New Yorkers and make the state a more just place to live.”

From left: Justice Cheryl Chambers with Domenick Napoletano, president of the NYS Bar Association; Aimee Richter; Pauline Yeung-Ha, and Anthony Vaughn, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association. Photo courtesy of Anthony Vaughn
From left: Justice Cheryl Chambers with Domenick Napoletano, president of the NYS Bar Association; Aimee Richter; Pauline Yeung-Ha, and Anthony Vaughn, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association. Photo courtesy of Anthony Vaughn

David Schraver, who will serve as vice president, has also had a distinguished career. A past president of the New York State Bar Association, Schraver has been an active member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for eight years, chairing the Finance and Investment and Nominating committees. His extensive experience includes more than 30 years at Nixon Peabody LLP, where he specialized in business and commercial litigation with a focus on Indian law.

Justice Chambers’ extensive involvement with various legal and community organizations underscores her commitment to diversity and inclusion. She has served on the State Bar Association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity, the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Section. Her leadership roles extend to the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, and the Judicial Friends.

Her accolades include the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Beacon Award, the Trail Blazer Award, and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jurisprudence from the Brooklyn Bar Association, among others. Justice Chambers is also a Life Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American Bar Association.

Justice Chambers is a respected lecturer and author, having written extensively on topics such as criminal law, evidence, domestic violence, commercial litigation, and trial and appellate practice.


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