July 2, 2008


Awards Recognize Public Service Attorneys Providing Service to Low-income and Disadvantaged Clients

ALBANY-- The New York State Bar Association is seeking nominations for the 2008 Denison Ray Awards. The award, named in memory of Denison Ray, a career legal activist who led legal services programs in New Yorkand other states, is intended to recognize the extraordinary commitment of public service attorneys who provide zealous and skilled representation to low income and disadvantaged clients. Six awards will be made this year.

Two awards will honor staff attorneys at nonprofit entities that provide civil legal services and two awards will be presented to staff attorneys employed by Public Defender, Conflict Defender, and/or Legal Aid Offices that represent indigent defendants in criminal court proceedings. An award also will be presented to a director of a civil legal services, criminal defender, or pro bono program. In addition, an award will be presented to a non-profit organization that provides, or facilitates the provision of, civil legal services to low income and/or disadvantaged clients.

Each individual attorney award recipient will receive a recognition award plaque, a cash award of $250, and a one-year, free membership in the New York State Bar Association. The nonprofit organization honoree will receive a cash award of $1,000 to be used to increase the organization's capacity to serve people in need of legal services through pro bono efforts.

Nomination materials may be obtained at www.nysba.org/probono or by contacting the Department of Pro Bono Affairs at (518) 487-5641 or probono@nysba.org. These materials describe the awards and set forth the specific eligibility criteria and details about the awards. Completed nomination forms must be received by August 1, 2008.

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. Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.