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Benchmarks: Journal of the New York State Unified Court System

Winter 2006


Q: Who was the first lawyer admitted to the bar under the New York State Constitution of 1777?

A: Abraham Van Vechten, “The Father of the Bar in New York State,” was born in 1762 in Catskill, Greene County. After attending Columbia College and clerking in the Albany law office of John Lansing Jr., he built a reputation as a real estate lawyer. He was the first lawyer admitted to the bar under the State Constitution of 1777. Over the course of his career, he served as Albany City Recorder, State Senator, member of the Assembly, Attorney General and member of the 1821 Constitutional Convention. He was also a Regent of the University of the State of New York. His wife was Catherina Schuyler, daughter of Philip Schuyler, an American Revolutionary general and one of the first U.S. Senators from New York. Van Vechten died in Albany in 1837.

Winter 2006 PDF Format
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State of the Judiciary Judicial Elections Report Summary Jury Trials Indigent Defense Services Multi-Hat Judge Matrimonial Commission Solo & Small Firm Practice Office of Self-Represented National Adoption Day Court Reporters Listening Conference Construction Update Historic Courthouses and Trials Did You Know? Judicial Institute Calendar UCS Katrina Fund Update Black History Month


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Web page updated: September 1, 2006 - www.NYCOURTS.gov