The award, named in memory of Denison Ray, a career legal activist who led legal services programs in New York and other states, is intended to recognize the extraordinary commitment of public service attorneys who provide zealous and skilled representation to low income and disadvantaged clients. Two awards will honor staff attorneys at nonprofit entities that provide civil legal services and two awards will be presented to staff attorneys employed by Public Defender, Conflict Defender, and/or Legal Aid Offices that represent indigent defendants in criminal court proceedings.
Established in 2006, an award also will be presented to a director of a civil legal services, criminal defender, or pro bono program. In addition, an award will be presented to a non-profit organization that provides, or facilitates the provision of civil legal services to low income and/or disadvantaged clients.
Each individual attorney award recipient will receive a recognition award plaque, a cash award of $250, and a one-year, free membership in the New York State Bar Association. The nonprofit organization honoree will receive a cash award of $1000 to be used to increase the organization’s capacity to serve people in need of legal services through pro bono efforts.
Nomination Deadline: DEADLINE DATE EXTENDED TO APRIL 30, 2010
Date Presented: June 15, 2010
Award Criteria: The Awards Committee may also consider direct client representation, work in support of direct client representation, and other activities in the client or legal communities. Executive directors and heads of programs are not eligible for either award.
Nominations may be received from any source. Nominations will be solicited from supervisors and employees of legal services and defenders organizations. They must be submitted on a nomination form and should include a statement of the nominees’ background, qualifications, and an explanation of why the nominee should be selected for the award. NYSBA membership is not a prerequisite.
- Civil Legal Services Award Provision of zealous, skilled, committed, hands-on, competent and creative legal representation for low-income and disadvantaged clients; willingness to work with pro bono volunteer attorneys from the private bar; or ability to support and mentor colleagues through leadership, overall example or inspiration.
- Criminal Defender Awards Provision of zealous, skilled, committed, hands-on, competent and creative legal representation for low-income and disadvantaged clients, courageous advocacy of defense rights in the face of adverse publicity and community hostility; ability to support and mentor colleagues through leadership, overall example or inspiration.
Prize Awarded: Placque, $250.00, one year membership to the NYS Bar Association, and the Nonprofit Organization honoree will receive $1000.00