NYSBA President-Elect Henry Greenberg Delivers 2019 Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture

Since 1950, Hughes Hubbard has sponsored a lecture in conjunction with the New York County Lawyers Association on the ideals of public service and the education of lawyers and the public. This year, Henry M. Greenberg, president-elect of the New York State Bar Association, delivered the 55th Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture.

About Henry M. Greenberg

Henry M. Greenberg is president-elect of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and a shareholder at the global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. A former counsel to the New York State Attorney General, general counsel to a major New York State agency and federal prosecutor, Greenberg has handled many high-profile matters.

From 2007 to 2010, Greenberg was counsel to then-New York State Attorney General (now Governor) Andrew M. Cuomo, where he worked on some of the Attorney General office’s most significant litigation and public policy initiatives. He was general counsel for the New York State Department of Health from 1995 to 2000, serving as the chief legal advisor to the commissioner and led an office of more than 100 attorneys engaged in virtually all aspects of administrative law.

Amongst the other government posts he has held, Greenberg was an assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, and law clerk to then-Associate Judge (later Chief Judge, and previous Charles Evan Hughes Memorial Lecturer) Judith S. Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals.

Presently, Greenberg is counsel to the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination, which nominates New York’s Court of Appeals Judges. He chairs the Third Department Judicial Screening Committee and is a member of the State Judicial Screening Committee, Judicial Task Force on the New York State Constitution, and the State Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol. He is a founding member and vice chair of statewide programming for the Historical Society of the New York Courts and a member of the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law and the advisory group of the New York State and Federal Judicial Council.

Greenberg is a frequent lecturer and has been published numerous times on a wide range of legal subjects, including legal history, constitutional law, administrative law, criminal procedure, trial and appellate practice, health law and judicial philosophy. He is a co-editor of the forthcoming book, Judith S. Kaye in Her Own Words: Reflections on Life and the Law, with Selected Judicial Opinions and Articles, which will be published by SUNY Press.

Greenberg received degrees from the University of Chicago, with honors, and Syracuse University College of Law, cum laude.


On Nov. 8, 1948, the Board of Directors of the New York Country Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) established the Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Lecture. Hughes Hubbard assumed sponsorship of the lecture series in 2007.

The Series was instituted by NYCLA to honor Justice Hughes for his "devotion to the betterment of the law and the maintenance of its supremacy," and "for his service as President of our Association where he endeared himself to us by his fine qualities of mind and heart, and as an inspiration to the members of our profession whose high ideals and noble traditions he upheld and strengthened throughout his long and distinguished career."

Few lawyers in the first half of the 20th century had a more distinguished career or a greater impact on the evolution of law and public policy. Charles Evans Hughes's service as Governor of New York State, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, presidential candidate, Secretary of State, Judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice and Chief Justice of the United States reflected a lifelong dedication to the legal profession. Justice Hughes served as NYCLA's eighth president from 1919-1921, leaving to serve as United States Secretary of State upon his appointment by President Warren G. Harding. In 1930, Justice Hughes received his appointment as Chief Justice from President Herbert Hoover.

Chief Justice Hughes was reluctantly unable to attend the dedication ceremonies on May 26, 1930 because the Supreme Court was in session, but sent a message that President William Nelson Cromwell read to the gathering.

In that message the Chief Justice illuminated the highest aspirations of the organized bar and the legal profession:

“As books and office furniture do not make a lawyer, so a library and reception halls do not make a bar association. The significance of such an association is found not merely in a common technique, but in the reinforcement of the standards of sound learning, loyalty to the law and fidelity to trust, and the readiness for expert public service, which have given a peculiar dignity to the profession of the law.” Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes

Past Speakers

For more than half a century, the men and women who have delivered the Charles Evans Hughes Lecture have embodied those aspirations. 

The series has had speakers from the highest levels of the profession including U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

2018 - Dean A. Gail Prudenti
2017 - Hon. Robert A. Katzmann
2015 - Hon. Jonathan Lippman
2014 - Loretta E. Lynch
2013 - James R. Silkenat
2012 - Hon. Judith S. Kaye
2011 - Hon. Denny Chin
2010 - Preet Bharara
2008 - Hon. José A. Cabranes
2007 - Kenneth C. Frazier
2005 - Robert MacCrate
2003 - Hon. John S. Martin
2000 - Hon. Seth Waxman
1999 - Dean Kristin Booth Glen
1998 - Hon. Joseph M. McLaughlin
1997 - Dean David W. Leebron
1996 - Dean Rudolph C. Hasl
1995 - Dean Joan G. Wexler
1994 - Hon. Jack B. Weinstein
1993 - Dean Harry H. Wellington
1992 - Dean Lance Liebman
1991 - Prof. Curtis Berger
1990 - Dean John D. Feerick
1989 - Dean John E. Sexton
1988 - Dean Monroe E. Price
1987 - Hon. Andrew J. Maloney
1986 - Hon. Frederick A.O.Schwarz Jr.
1985 - Dean Norman Redlich
1984 - Dean Patrick J. Rohan
1983 - Prof. Benno C. Schmidt Jr.
1982 - Dean Albert J. Rosenthal
1981 - Hon. Lawrence H. Cooke
1979 - Dean Harry H. Wellington
1977 - Dean Monrad G. Paulsen
1975 - Dean Joseph M. McLaughlin
1974 - Dean Michael I. Sovern
1973 - William T. Gossett
1972 - Dean Robert B. McKay
1971 - Hon. Shirley M. Hufstedler
1970 - Whitney North Seymour
1969 - Hon. Sheldon S. Cohen
1968 - Hon. J. Edward Lumbard
1967 - Hon. Charles S. Desmond
1965 - Dr. Russell D. Niles
1964 - Prof. Leon Lipson
1963 - Hon. Henry J. Friendly
1961 - Prof. Paul A. Freund
1960 - Hon. John Clark Knox
1958 - The Right Hon. Lord Nathan, T.D.
1956 - Hon. Harold Medina
1954 - Hon. Arthur T. Vanderbilt
1952 - Hon. John T. Loughran
1951 - Hon. Bernard Shientag
1950 - Dean Roscoe Pound