ALBANY LAW SCHOOL CLINIC AND JUSTICE CENTER
RECEIVES NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION’S 2010 ANGELO T.
ALBANY—The Albany Law School Clinic and Justice Center has been
honored with the New York State Bar Association’s 2010 Angelo T.
Cometa Award in recognition of its significant community outreach
efforts and legal services in the areas of civil rights, health law,
unemployment litigation, family violence prevention, and other areas.
The award, sponsored by the Committee on Lawyer Referral Service,
recognizes individuals or groups in New York that demonstrate an
extraordinary commitment toward advancing the goals of the State
Bar’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) -- a program
that helps coordinate a lawyer referral and information system, as well
as provides the public with information about available legal services.
Named after past Bar Association President Angelo T. Cometa, the award
was presented on April 9th at the State Bar’s House of Delegates
“With compassion and dedication, the Albany Law School Clinic
and Justice Center provides hundreds of New Yorkers with guidance and
education on Medicaid benefits, execution of trusts and estates, the
rights of the developmentally disabled and child custody issues for
domestic violence survivors, all while providing law students with
invaluable hands-on experience,” said President Michael E. Getnick
(Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel
to Getnick & Getnick of New York City). “I congratulate the
clinic for winning this distinguished award, and thank them for the
vital free legal assistance they provide.”
The committee recognized the Albany Law School Clinic and Justice
Center for its significant community outreach and the legal advice it
provides through six in-house clinics: Civil Rights and Disability Law,
Health Law, Securities Law, Unemployment Litigation, Low Income Taxpayer
Law and Family Violence Litigation and its collaborative Family Violence
Prosecution Clinic. The Clinic and Justice Center also boasts a field
placement program that has secured internships for law students at more
than 200 different government offices. In 2009, the clinic handled 621
different cases on behalf of 523 individuals.
Among its most significant programs was a day-long special education
conference, “Beyond the Box, Exploring the Possibilities,”
for parents and other individuals concerned about the rights of
individuals with developmental disabilities; helping clients with cancer
challenge insurance company decisions to receive due treatment; and
representing survivors of domestic violence in matters related to
safety, financial support, and custody of children.
“Navigating the legal landscape can often be a daunting process
for the public, but lawyer referral services, such as the Clinic and
Justice Center, make a needed difference by helping our vulnerable
citizens receive the legal services they deserve,” said Committee
Chair Rajpattie Persaud-Billette. “We are pleased to honor them
for their excellence in increasing public awareness about legal
resources to the disadvantaged.”
The LRIS is a public service of the State Bar Association and assists
members of the public in obtaining information about the availability of
legal services and other agencies, increasing access to attorneys,
and/or providing legal services to clients. The LRIS has helped connect
New Yorkers with local bar referral services, legal aid societies, legal
service programs and public interest law organizations.
Past winners of the Cometa Award include: the Capital District
Women’s Bar Association Legal Project, Inc.; Allen J. Charne of
New York (New York City Bar); and past State Bar President Angelo T.
Cometa of New York. Cometa chaired the Committee on Lawyer Referral
Services during the first year of LRIS operation. As committee chair, he
was instrumental in establishing the LRIS and increasing public access
to attorneys. The award was created in 2007 in recognition of his
extraordinary service efforts.
Founded in 1876, the 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is
the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the
largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State
Bar’s programs and activities have continuously served the public
and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993