ALBANY-Rajpattie Persaud-Billette of Montreal was posthumously honored with the inaugural Outstanding Non-Resident Member Award, given by the Membership Committee of the New York State Bar Association.

The award, conferred on June 23, recognizes the growing impact and contributions of non-resident members to the State Bar. Non-resident members make up more than 25 percent of the State Bar's membership.

Persaud-Billette was chair of the State Bar's Committee on Lawyer Referral Service from 2008 until her death in August 2011. The committee helps New Yorkers find lawyers for their legal matters. She joined the committee in 2000 and quickly became one of its most active members, although she lived in Canada.

"Rajpattie raised the bar for non-resident members. She worked so hard to help New Yorkers find the right attorney for their legal matters even with her own law practice based in Montreal," said State Bar President Seymour W. James, Jr. of Brooklyn (The Legal Aid Society of New York). "It is only fitting that we honor her incomparable dedication and service with this award. We greatly miss her enthusiasm, leadership and friendship."

A native of Guyana, Persaud-Billette began her career as a banker. She was in her forties when she was admitted to practice law in Quebec and New York after earning a law degree from McGill University.  She joined the New York State Bar Association in 1995.

In Montreal, Persaud-Billette, a solo practitioner, concentrated her practice in family law as well as trusts and estates law. She was a member of the Montreal Bar Association and the Quebec Bar Association.

She also was a member of the State Bar's Elder Law, Family Law and International sections as well as the Task Force on New York Law in International Matters.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.


Contact: Brandon Vogel
Media Writer