For Immediate Release
May 25, 2011
Director, Media Relations
Feeney Becomes President of State Bar
NEW BRUNSWICK—Newark attorney Susan A. Feeney became the 113th president of the New Jersey State Bar Association last week. She is only the seventh woman to hold the position.
Feeney, a partner who specializes in tax matters at McCarter & English, took the oath of office at the association’s Annual Meeting and Convention at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. The installation ceremony was May 19.
Feeney vowed to devote the resources of the state’s largest lawyers group to fostering diversity, encouraging attorneys to do more pro bono service and marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with a day of service.
“Tonight marks the start of my year of service to you and to the profession and my chance to put my talents to work for you,” Feeney told hundreds of people gathered at the dinner, which was part of the state bar association’s Annual Meeting and Convention.
Feeney said the association would remain committed to helping lawyers whose careers have suffered in the economic downturn, advocating for the integrity and independence of the Judiciary, and providing affordable, high-quality continuing legal education.
She outlined a trio of initiatives that will be the focus of her term as president.
Chief among those plans is to focus on creating more opportunities in the association and profession for people from diverse backgrounds.
“The responsibility is on us as the state’s largest lawyers group to take a step, not just for one year, but to begin what I hope will be a systematic change,” said Feeney. “We need to make diversity issues part of the mainstream.”
On pro bono legal service, Feeney announced the creation of a task force to examine the justice gap and ways the legal community could address the needs of poor residents and the organizations that serve them. The state bar association and Judiciary will also release a video educating attorneys about the obligation to do pro bono work and how they can find ways to help, she said.
“I want to begin with an issue that means so much to me: pro bono,” said Feeney. “Taking the skills that we have as lawyers and giving back to people whose lives are in jeopardy because of legal issues … is what being a lawyer is all about.”
Turning her attention to the 10th anniversary of Sept 11, Feeney said plans are underway to organize volunteer attorneys to hold a day of service in the state’s courthouses and educational sessions in schools around New Jersey.
Feeney, of Skillman, has been a member of the NJSBA for nearly 30 years and served on the association’s Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2006.
As an officer of the Association, she also serves as trustee for the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, the NJSBA’s educational and philanthropic arm.
Her involvement in various aspects of the legal community has been extensive. She has served on the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Board of Bar Examiners Committee on Character, and the Committee on the New Jersey Tax Court.
The legal community has consistently honored her contributions to the field. Feeney has been named in NJBIZ’s 2009 roster of the Best 50 Women in Business. For four consecutive years, Feeney was named The Best Lawyers in America. For the past five years, she has been named a SuperLawyer in New Jersey.
A summa cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University, she earned her law degree from Fordham University School of Law.
In her spare time, she is an avid equestrian and volunteers with the Flame of Charity.