Justice Cheryl Chambers Takes Over as President of the New York Bar Foundation as David Schraver Assumes Vice Presidency

The Honorable Cheryl E. Chambers, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, assumed her new role as President of the New York Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the New York State Bar Association, on June 1. David Schraver, a past president of the New York State Bar Association, ascended to the role of vice president.

One of the most highly accomplished judges in New York’s judiciary, Justice Chambers was the Foundation’s vice president and has served on its Board of Directors for 10 years. When she was appointed to the Appellate Division, Second Department, of the state Supreme Court in 2008, she was only 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 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 K. Leber, past president of the New York Bar Association and a partner at Arentfox Schiff, LLP.

“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,” said Stephen P. Younger who is also a past association president.

Justice Chambers, who is a member of the association’s Finance Committee and its governing body, the House of Delegates, said she welcomes 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.”

T. Andrew Brown, past president of the state bar association and the founder and president of Brown Hutchinson, praised the choice of Schraver as vice president.

“David Schraver is the perfect person to serve as vice president of the New York Bar Foundation at this critical moment in the organization’s history,” Brown said. “At a time when the Foundation is putting even more emphasis on its mission to achieve justice and equality, his leadership and finance experience will help keep us laser focused on our charitable goals.”

Schraver has served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for eight years, where he chaired the Finance and Investment and Nominating committees. He is a Fellow of the Foundation and is in the John Jay Circle of Giving. Schraver served as the 116th president of the New York State Bar Association. A member of the State Bar for more than 40 years, Schraver has served on the Finance Committee and as its chairman.

Schraver is Of Counsel to Nixon Peabody LLP, where he was a partner for more than 30 years. His practice included business and commercial litigation, with a particular expertise in Indian law. At Nixon Peabody, his work encompassed complex business and commercial litigation in state and federal courts. His practice also focused on energy/utility litigation, contract litigation, and fiduciary and professional liability. He served as managing partner of the firm’s Rochester office for six years.

Justice Chambers also served on the association’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity, where she was the co-chair of the subcommittee on the Judiciary. Since 2010, she has been a member of the State Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is also on the Executive Committee of the State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section and is a Past Chair of the State Bar Association’s Judicial Section and the Council of Judicial Associations (2018-2019).

Justice Chambers has also served in leadership positions in many professional associations including the Metropolitan Black Bar Association where she was Chair of the Board of Directors, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the Judicial Friends, and the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York. As a member of the New York County Lawyers Association’s Committee on Minorities and the Law for decades, she has helped law school students prepare for their careers. She has also served on the advisory boards of several non-profit organizations including the New York Children’s Defense Fund and Girls for Gender Equity.

Justice Chambers has received numerous awards and honors including the inaugural Ruth Bader Ginsburg Beacon Award from the New York State Bar Association Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the Trail Blazer Award and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Jurisprudence from the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Golda Meir Memorial Award from the Jewish Lawyers Guild and the Distinguished Jurist of the Year Award from the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. She is also a Life Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American Bar Association.

Justice Chambers is a frequent lecturer and has written extensively on a wide range of legal subjects including criminal law and procedure, evidence, domestic violence, commercial litigation, and trial and appellate practice.