The Queens Volunteer Lawyers Project (QVLP) has been honored with the 2012 Angelo T. Cometa Award, given by the Committee on Lawyer Referral Service of the New York State Bar Association.

The QVLP provides pro bono legal assistance to hundreds of Queens County residents and refers others in need of assistance to free legal service providers. Each year, approximately 5,000 people contact the QVLP for help with evictions, Family Court cases, divorces and wills.

"Programs such as the Queens Volunteer Lawyers Project help people find the right attorney for their legal matters. Recently, their innovative projects have helped some low-income Queens residents keep their houses and successfully resolve consumer debt cases," said Anna Katherine Christian of Albany (Boies, Schiller & Flexner), chair of the Committee on Lawyer Referral Service. "The QVLP and its volunteer lawyers richly deserve this recognition."

Since 2008, the QVLP's Queens Foreclosure Conference Project has provided free legal assistance to homeowners facing court-mandated foreclosure conferences. It assisted more than 150 homeowners in 2010 and 121 in 2011.

Nearly 900 pro se litigants involved in consumer debt cases received help from the QVLP's Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO)-Queens Consumer Debt Clinic. Many of the clients are elderly or disabled and the victims of identity theft.

The award is named for Angelo T. Cometa, past State Bar President and chair of the Committee on Lawyer Referral Service. It was created in 2007 to recognize those who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment toward advancing the goals of the State Bar's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS).

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: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director of Media Services & Public Affairs