DID YOU KNOW?
Q: Who was the first
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.
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