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November 28, 2007
NYSBA EXPANDS EMPIRE STATE COUNSEL PROGRAM
New York State Bar Association
President Kathryn Grant Madigan (Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP)
today announced the expansion of the successful Empire State Counsel
program, honoring attorneys who volunteer their services to people who
cannot afford legal representation.
Following the remarkable success of the initial Empire
State Counsel Program, which recognizes lawyers who provide free legal
services to individuals, President Madigan said the Association will
expand the program to include lawyers who donate free legal services to
not for profit, governmental or public service organizations - provided
the organization’s services are designed primarily to address the
legal and other basic needs of persons of limited financial
“We introduced the Empire State Counsel program
last year and I am proud to say it has been a resounding success and
truly demonstrates how New Yorklawyers are helping the less fortunate,” Madigan said.
“By expanding this program to recognize attorneys that provide pro
bono work to organizations that help the less fortunate, we can honor
additional attorneys who generously donate their time and effort.
Whether it is helping victims of flood damage in the Southern Tier,
providing legal care to a single mother in need, or helping a family who
is struggling, voluntary service is contagious and we are proud to
recognize those providing these vital services.”
Created by Immediate Past President Mark H. Alcott
(Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP) in 2006, more than
460 attorneys accepted the challenge to donate at least 50 hours of pro
bono services to the poor - qualifying them for the honorable
distinction of Empire State Counsel. More than 23,000 pro bono service
hours were provided by honorees, each of whom receives the honorific
title "Empire State Counsel", which can be used as a credential.
Participating lawyers are recognized by the Bar Association in a variety
of ways, including mention on the Association’s website, and in
press releases. They are also feted at the Association’s "Justice
for All" luncheon during the Association’s Annual Meeting week
in New York Cityin
Despite considerable pro bono representation provided
by New Yorkattorneys
every year, the state still meets only a fraction of the need--
especially in civil matters. The expanded version of this program will
honor those lawyers who are already working to meet this need, and serve
as a reminder to other attorneys that there are many pro bono
opportunities which they can take part in.
The 2007 Empire State Counsel honorees will be
recognized at the Association’s annual meeting
in New York Cityin
January of 2008. More information,
including application forms for the award, is available on the
Association’s Web site at www.nysba.org/empirestatecounsel.
The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association,
founded in 1876, is the official statewide organization of lawyers
in New Yorkand the
largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. NYSBA
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