December 2015 Alumni Highlight

Nancy BarryNancy J. Barry (’89) chose Pace Law School for practical reasons:  it was close to home and her place of employment at the time.  It turns out that logic was a smart way to make this choice.  Not only did Nancy meet (sort of) her future husband (Kevin Barry, Class of 1987) at Pace, but she attributes her successful career now to the education she received at Pace Law.  

After graduating law school, Nancy worked at the firm of Plunkett & Jaffe, P.C. in their commercial litigation practice.  After this, Nancy had her own law practice, which she focused on general civil litigation, real estate transactions, and the probate and administration of decedents’ estate.  From there, she joined her husband at his firm representing individuals, corporations, and municipalities in the defense of personal injury actions, insurance, and subrogation matters, along with transactional real estate, and general litigation in the state and federal courts.  However, as a law student, Nancy worked at the Office of the Westchester County Executive and she knew that it was with government where she ultimately desired to spend her career.

Nancy moved on from private practice to become the Principal Law Clerk to fellow Pace Law alumna, the Honorable Susan Cacace (Class of 1989), who remains one of her closest friends to date. From there she became the Principal Law Clerk to the then Administrative Judge, the Honorable Francis A. Nicolai.  Immediately after that, Nancy became a Court Attorney Referee at Westchester Supreme Court under Administrative Judge Alan D. Scheinkman.  In this position, she directed the mortgage foreclosure settlement part district-wide.

Recognized for her hard work and can-do attitude, Nancy ultimately became Chief Clerk of Westchester Supreme and County Courts.  She is currently the highest ranking non-judicial employee in Supreme and County Court.  Holding this title since September 2010, Nancy is responsible for managing all aspects of court operations.  She has also led many technologically innovative efforts throughout the courts – including, implementing the State’s pilot program for the electronic filing of matrimonial matters and also directing the implementation of the mandatory electronic filing system for civil cases.  Nancy enjoys the varied hustle and bustle that her day to day schedule brings – from her responsibility to each Judge at the Courts, to working with regional court administrators and the Office of Court Administration, to hiring interns and clerks.  Nancy’s attributes her career history and her “practical and thorough education” she received at Pace to her success and also in preparing her to handle the great responsibilities she encounters every day as Chief Clerk.

Not one to sit still, Nancy is also active in the community.  She is a member of the Ninth Judicial District Pro Bono Local Action Committee; a member of the White Plains Bar Association and Columbian Lawyers Association of Westchester; Vice-Chair of the City of White Plains Ethics Board; a past P.T.A. Council President for White Plains City Schools; and Co-Founder for the White Plains Hospital Center Neonatal Support Group.

In November 2014, Nancy was awarded the Milton Mollen Commitment to Excellence Award at a ceremony at the Appellate Division Second Department in Brooklyn.  The award is presented to court employees within the Appellate Division for excellence in service. Nominated by the Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman, Administrative Judge of the Ninth Judicial District, the award was presented by Justice Mollen, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division Retried. 

Of her time at Pace, Nancy fondly remembers her favorite professor as Jay Carlisle, whom she still keeps in touch with today.  Her favorite class was NY Practice, naturally, taken with Jay and preparing her for her long-established career in the New York court system.  “It truly was and remains an essential part of a law school education.  New York Practice, in particular taught by Jay Carlisle, was a rite of passage. It has remained a point of reference to me throughout my career.” If you ask Nancy the best part of her Pace education, her answer is simply “her husband.”  Nancy and her husband, Kevin, did not “officially” meet until after Kevin graduated, but Nancy knew who her husband Kevin was while he attended Pace though he graduated two years prior to her.  Later, they were introduced through a mutual friend, who also graduated from Pace! And the rest, as they say, is history.

Nancy currently resides in White Plains with her husband Kevin.  They have two children,   Kevin, Jr, a 2014 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a 1st Lieutenant in the  Army and Meghan, a senior at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.  In her free time, she enjoys golfing, playing softball, and watching her daughter swim for Hartwick.