For over 100 years, the New York State Bar Association has been a leader in advocating for the provision of high quality legal services to the poor in Criminal and Family Court proceedings. The Association’s Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation has played an active role in this endeavor. As part of its work, every other year, the Committee recognizes individuals and organizations that have made exemplary efforts to make the ideal of equal justice for all a reality.
The Award for Outstanding Achievements in Promoting Standards of Excellence in Mandated Representation
A major accomplishment of the Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation was the drafting of standards for attorneys providing mandated representation in Criminal and Family Court cases. The standards set the floor for a mandated representation system. Promulgated in 2005, the Standards have undergone two revisions, the first in 2010 and the most recent in 2013. The Standards have been widely distributed throughout the mandated provider community in New York.
To encourage adherence to these standards and in conjunction with the Committee’s biennial, free Continuing Legal Education program for mandated providers, in 2007 the Committee established an award to honor those who do not merely comply with the standards, but exceed them, setting an example for all to follow.
The award is given to up to three recipients, who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- To an attorney, group of attorneys, or organization for demonstrating consistent adherence to the highest professional standards inproviding mandated representation.
- To an attorney, group of attorneys, or organization for engaging in innovative efforts to improve the overall quality of mandatedrepresentation.
- To a private individual, public officer, or organization for advocacy to promote steps by the legislature, executive or judiciary toensure the provision of high quality mandated representation.
To view of list of previous Excellence Award recipients click here.
Denison Ray Criminal Defender Award
The Committee is honored to also bestow the Denison Ray Criminal Defender Award, named in memory of Denison Ray, a career legal activist who led legal services programs in New York and other states. The award is intended to recognize attorneys with institutional providers who exemplify the highest level of professionalism in providing skilled and zealous representation to indigent clients in criminal proceedings.
Up to two awards are given to staff attorneys employed by a public defender, conflict defender or non-profit corporation based on the
overall quality of their legal representation and efforts to inspire, mentor and support colleagues.
One award is given to a director of a defender program based on the ability to inspire staff to provide consistently high quality and zealous representation.
To view a list of past recipients of the Denison Ray Criminal Defender Award, click here.
For more information about either award please contact:
New York State Bar Association Department of Pro Bono Affairs One Elk Street Albany, New York 12207 (518) 487-5641 or firstname.lastname@example.org