Standard Quoted On Blind Woman Who Became Lawyer

Syracuse Post-Standard

Kenneth G. Standard, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the New York office, was quoted in an article in the Syracuse Post-Standard about a woman who, despite being blind, has become a lawyer.

Angela Winfield, 25, of Auburn, NY, will be admitted to the New York state bar in February 2009. She currently is a law clerk at Hiscock & Barclay in Syracuse, and said she plans to continue at the firm as a lawyer after she is admitted to the bar.

In an article, titled, "Auburn woman says becoming lawyer not about 'overcoming' blindness," Kenneth Standard, who was president of the New York State Bar Association in 2004-05 and co-chairman of its diversity committee, said there have been blind lawyers and judges, although they are rare.

Of the more than 244,000 lawyers in New York are members of the bar association, about 4 percent have a disability. The association has no estimate for how many of its members are black, female and blind, like Winfield.

"To be a black female who's been admitted to the bar of New York state, that's unusual in itself," Standard said. "To accomplish that with a handicap like blindness is extraordinary."

New York Gov. David Paterson, who is legally blind, went to law school but never took the bar exam because at the time there were no special accommodations for handicapped law school graduates. That has changed, Standard said.

"It's a very unusual combination," Standard said of Winfield. "I have not run into anyone like that, or met anyone like that or heard of anyone like that."