June 2, 2009


Awards to be given out at Charles Evans Hughes Lecture and Reception

ALBANY (06/02/09) - The New York State Bar Association's Committee on Attorneys in Public Service has awarded Amy Pitcairn Barasch of Albany (Executive Director, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence) and Erin Noelle Guven of White Plains (Legal Services of the Hudson Valley) with its first annual Citations for Special Achievements in Public Service. The citations, which recognize the unique or special achievements of government attorneys, including providing leadership on a particular project or initiative or making key contributions in connection with a project or initiative, will be given at the Charles Evans Hughes Lecture & Reception at the State Bar Center on June 10.

Bennett Liebman of Albany (Executive Director, Government Law Center of Albany Law School) will present the program, "Charles Evans Hughes: The Accidental Governor as Reformer." The lecture will examine the lasting legacy of past State Bar President Charles Hughes, who served as Governor of New York (1907-1910), United States Secretary of State (1921-1925), Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1910-1916) and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1930-1941).

"Public service attorneys play an important, if often unrecognized role, in improving the communities in which we live. Ms. Barasch and Ms. Guven have each done excellent work in preventing domestic violence and increasing access to justice for our most vulnerable citizens," said Committee Chair Hon. Peter S. Loomis of Albany (New York State Department of Transportation). "I am proud to bestow the first annual Citations for Special Achievements in Public Service upon these two attorneys committed to serving the public good."

A graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School, Barasch was appointed in February 2007 to serve as executive director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Prior to her appointment, Barasch worked for the New York City Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence. In 2005, she became the executive director of New York City's first Family Justice Center in Brooklyn, which provides "one-stop" services to domestic violence victims. Previously, she launched and managed the Domestic Violence Response Teams pilot program, an interagency case management program designed to improve the City's coordinated response to victims.

Guven is the director of Pro Bono Affairs for the Legal Services of Hudson Valley. She is a founder and a co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee for the Westchester Women's Bar Association and was elected as a state director in 2006. During her service as co-chair, the committee began hosting the WWBA "Pro Bono Expo," an annual networking and volunteer recruitment program. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and Brooklyn Law School. She received the "Most Promising Attorney Under 35" award from Westchester County "Above the Bar."

The 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.