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January 29, 2008


Kay C. Murray to Receive Initial Award Bearing Her Name

The New York State Bar Association's Committee on Women in the Law will present its first-annual Kay Crawford Murray award to the award's namesake, Kay C. Murray. The honor, which will be presented every year at the Association's annual meeting in New York City, celebrates an individual who, in the spirit of Kay C. Murray, recognizes the value of diversity in the legal profession and is committed to advancing the professional development of women attorneys. Murray, a longstanding member of the State Bar Association and past chair of the Committee on Women in the Law, is a trailblazing attorney of color who has devoted significant efforts toward highlighting and helping assuage gender bias issues in the legal profession. A true pioneer, as Chair of the Women in the Law Committee in the 1980's, Ms. Murray raised awareness of women's issues when she spearheaded a report urging the Association to propose a model policy for Childbirth and Parenting Leave as a guideline for law firms.

"Kay Crawford Murray has been an inspiration and mentor to many women, particularly young African-American women, because she took on the tough issues that were important to women, minorities and families at a time when few women of color even considered a career in the law," Committee on Women in the Law Chair Taa Grays said. "As the New York State Bar Association and New Yorkin general continue to focus on attracting more attorneys of color and more women, the creation of the Kay C. Murray Award will be another significant step in demonstrating the Association's commitment to the diversity we all desire."

Future recipients, like Ms. Murray, will have had a distinguished legal career or will be a rising star in the profession. They shall be active members of bar associations who have worked to advance the professional and personal development of women attorneys and they must serve as active mentors to women attorneys.

New York State Bar Association President Kathryn Grant Madigan said, "As the fourth woman elected president in the 130-year history of the Bar Association I applaud the contributions that Kay Murray has made to our profession and I recognize that we still have significant trails to blaze in reaching true diversity in our profession. This award should serve as a reminder that it is people like Kay Murray who ensure that we will continue to move forward until our goals are met."

The Kay C. Murray Award will be presented during a luncheon for the Committee on Women in the Law at the Marriott Marquis in New York Cityon Tuesday, January 29, 2008. The Committee meets in conjunction with the State Bar Association's Annual Meeting, which runs from January 28 through February 2, 2008. The Annual Meeting provides opportunities for attorneys to attend educational programs, career development conferences and networking events with fellow lawyers.

About Kay C. Murray

Kay Crawford Murray is a past president of the Columbia Law School Alumni Association and in 1997 received the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility, awarded by the Law School. She began her legal career as an associate at Shearman & Sterling and in 2002 she retired from the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, where she was General Counsel since the establishment of the agency in 1979, and from which she received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ms. Murray served in the Association's House of Delegates and on several committees of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, and is a Life Fellow of both organizations. She is a former Vice-President of the New York City Bar Association and has been a longtime member of the New York County Lawyers' Association and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

For her legal work in the public and private sectors, Ms. Murray has received numerous honors, including the prestigious Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare and the Edith I. Spivack Award. She is former chair of the Women's Rights Committee of the New York County Lawyers' Association and a founder and former director of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert.

Ms. Murray received her undergraduate degree from Bennington College in Vermont and a master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1976 she graduated from Columbia Law Schoolwhere she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New Yorkand the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.