Goldberg Segalla partner Joseph M. Hanna has been named the Bar Association of Erie County’s Lawyer of the Year, the youngest attorney to receive the honor in the association’s 128-year history. Joe, who leads the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Practice Group and chairs its Diversity Task Force, accepted the award at the association’s annual dinner, held June 8. He was selected for the honor in recognition of his tireless charitable work and ongoing efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession.
In addition to spearheading numerous initiatives in various organizations and outreach programs, Joe serves on several diversity-related committees and is a frequent author and speaker on the topic; earlier this year, for example, he was featured in Law360’s Minority Powerbrokers, a series of interviews with the nation’s most dynamic diverse attorneys. Among his many other positions, Joe chairs the American Bar Association (ABA) Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and its Special Committee on Human Rights.
Joe is also a past President of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and the MBAWNY Foundation, and is the Diversity Liaison for several committees at the 22,000-member Defense Research Institute (DRI), which also recently honored him with a Community Service Award. Each summer, Goldberg Segalla proudly welcomes interns from the University at Buffalo Law School through a formal Diversity Clerkship Program that Joe conceived while serving as MBAWNY President. Last fall, he received the 2014 Legal Service Award from MBAWNY in recognition of his work in creating this successful program.
The Bar Association award also recognizes the work Joe does as founder and President of Bunkers in Baghdad, the non-profit that collects and sends new and used golf equipment to deployed soldiers and veterans around the world. The charity recently hit a milestone when it shipped its six millionth golf ball; since Joe founded Bunkers in 2008, it has also shipped more than 350,000 golf clubs, reaching soldiers in 32 countries around the world and wounded warriors in all 50 states.
“This is another exceptional achievement for Joe and is indicative of his incredible work ethic and commitment to the community,” said Richard J. Cohen, Goldberg Segalla’s Managing Partner. “His tireless work is reflective of our firm-wide pledge to raise the standards of legal practice as well as advance diversity and inclusion in both the legal and business communities. We couldn’t be more proud.”
In May, Joe — who was made a partner in the firm at just 28 years old — was recognized by the New York Law Journal as one of its 2015 Rising Stars, an honor given to a select group of accomplished attorneys under age 40 who have a demonstrated commitment to the practice of law and their communities. In 2014, he was one of only 160 attorneys in the country to be named a 2014 Law360 Rising Star (out of hundreds of nominees), and one of just five named in the Media and Entertainment category.