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STATE BAR ASSOCIATION SEEKS NOMINEES FOR 2010 LEVINE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JUVENILE JUSTICE AND CHILD WELFARE

ALBANY--The New York State Bar Association today announced a call for nominations for the 2010 Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare. Sponsored by the Committee on Children and the Law, the award recognizes individuals who have done outstanding work to improve New York's child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

"Child advocates play a vital role in giving our young people a much-needed voice in society," said Prof. Merril Sobie (Pace University School of Law), chair of the committee. "We look forward to honoring those providing effective legal representation to New York's most vulnerable children."

Nominees for the award must have worked in the area of juvenile justice and child welfare. Nominations should include a narrative describing the individual's efforts to improve legal representation and the child welfare system. Supporting materials, such as letters in support or letters of reference, should be sent to Committee on Children and the Law, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207. The deadline for nominations is March 5, 2010.

The Committee on Children and the Law created the award in 1986. It is named for retired Court of Appeals Judge Howard A. Levine (Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP), who was the first chair of what was then called the Special Committee on Juvenile Justice. He has been and continues to be a strong proponent and leader in the effort to improve New York's child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Past winners of the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare include Gladys Carrión, commissioner of the New York State Office of Children & Family Services; Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., associate judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein; Hon. Judith S. Kaye, retired Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; and Matilda Cuomo, the former First Lady of New York.

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.

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