Contact: Rosanne M. Van Heertum
Director of Development, The New YorkBar Foundation

December 28, 2008


Former President to be honored for significantly advancing Foundation's purposes

The New York Bar Foundation will confer its Lifetime Achievement Award on Maryann Saccomando Freedman during the annual dinner meeting of the Fellows of The New York Bar Foundation on Friday, January 30, 2009. The dinner will take place at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.

Freedman was first elected to The Foundation's Board of Directors in 1982 and served as its first woman president from 1997 to 2000. She served as vice president from 1994 to 1997 and as a director from 1982-1994 and 2000-2008. She was chair of the Committee on Grants--Delivery of Legal Services from 1989 to 1997. Additionally, she served on numerous Foundation Board committees. She was elected a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation in 1983.

John R. Horan, president of The New York Bar Foundation stated, "Maryann's dedication to the law and selfless acts of service to the bar and to the people of the State of New York, particularly in the Buffalo area communities, deserve to be recognized. She has devoted years of her life to supporting and promoting the charitable and educational activities of The Foundation and it is an honor to bestow our Lifetime Achievement Award on such a deserving recipient."

In addition to The Foundation, Freedman holds the distinction of having been the first woman president of the New York State Bar Association and the Erie County Bar Association. During her tenure as Foundation president, Freedman created the positions of Fellows District Chairs who assumed responsibility for raising awareness of the Fellows program and the activities of The Foundation in their districts. Additionally, she established higher levels of giving for Fellows by creating the $2,500 Sustaining and Life Sustaining categories, and took meaningful steps to increase contributions to The Foundation, to bring visibility to the work of The Foundation, and to enhance its grant making program. In 2005, the Maryann Saccomando Freedman Circle of Giving was established by The Foundation in her honor.

Freedman has been a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association since 1980, was the Association's delegate to the American Bar Association from 1986 to 2001, and has served on numerous committees with the Association. She was awarded the NYSBA's prestigious Ruth G. Schapiro Award in 1994.

Freedman is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law. Her bar admissions include New York, U.S. District Court for Western New York, U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the United States Supreme Court. She served as Assistant Attorney General for New York State and, for ten years, as a Matrimonial Referee in the State Supreme Court. She is currently of counsel with the law firm of Cohen & Lombardo, Buffalo, where she maintains a general civil practice and is chair of its Matrimonial and Family Law department.

Actively involved in her community, Freedman has served as an officer or director on Boards of numerous organizations. She has been recognized with countless honors and awards for outstanding achievements during her career and for her service to the community. She is listed in Who's Who of America, Who's Who of American Law, Who's Who of American Women, World's Who's Who of Women, Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century, and the Dictionary of International Biography.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was established last year to honor former officers or directors of The Foundation who, due to term limits, are no longer able to serve in that capacity, or who, prior to the establishment of term limits, served a minimum of ten years as an officer or director of The Foundation. The honoree's service and leadership (as officer or director) must have significantly advanced the purposes of The Foundation. In addition, the honoree's service as an officer or director and reputation as a lawyer and bar leader must have brought significant recognition and acclaim to The Foundation.

Established in 1950, The New York Bar Foundation is dedicated to aiding charitable and educational projects to meet the law-related needs of the public and the legal profession. For more information, contact Rosanne Van Heertum, director of development, at 518/487-5650 or go to ://"> to make an online donation.