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

Contact: Brandon J. Vogel
Media Writer, Department of Media Services & Public Affairs

December 20, 2010


City University of New York Law School student Christopher R. Copeland has been awarded the inaugural Real Property Law Section Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship administered by The New York Bar Foundation. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded to a second- or third-year law student who best exemplifies the core values important to Ms. Tharp:  academic excellence, a demonstrated interest in public service, high integrity and, if possible, an interest in real property law. Named for Lorraine Power Tharp, who previously served as president of the New York State Bar Association (2002-03) and as chair of its Real Property Law Section, the scholarship will be applied to Mr. Copeland's tuition for the current academic year.

Mr. Copeland is pursuing his second year of study and is a member of the New York City Law Review. He has been awarded a diversity fellowship by the New York City Bar Association. He holds a B.A. in political theory from California State University of Long Beach, where he made the President's List. While there, he was a student government senator and chief justice, participated in the president's ambassador program and was a member of the delta chi fraternity.

A resident of Astoria, New York, Christopher Copeland served as a summer associate in investment management regulatory law in the legal department of Prudential Financial, Newark, New Jersey. Prior to entering law school, Mr. Copeland was a research analyst at CB Richard Ellis, a large real estate firm in Anaheim, California. 

M. Catherine Richardson, president of The New York Bar Foundation said, "In honoring the State Bar's beloved past president and Foundation treasurer, Lorraine Power Tharp, it is only fitting that we award Christopher Copeland with the inaugural scholarship. His real estate work experience and interest in real property law made him an excellent candidate for this scholarship. We are pleased to present him with this scholarship in his pursuit of excellence."
Real Property Law Section Chair Anne Reynolds Copps (Law Office of Anne Reynolds Copps, Albany) said, "Lorraine Power Tharp was as equally devoted to her community as she was her practice of real property law. It meant so much to her to use her talents and skills to help her clients and better her community. I am confident that Christopher Copeland will carry on Lorraine's legacy and fine example throughout his law career. The Real Property Law Section is most pleased to honor this worthy student."

Ms. Tharp was born in Staten lsland, but grew up in Massena, New York. She graduated from Smith College, after spending her junior year in Geneva, Switzerland at the Institute des Hautes Etudes Internationales, and received her J.D. from Cornell Law School. Following graduation, she worked in New York City with the firm of Wickes, Riddell, Bloomer, Jacobi & McGuire (subsequently merged into Morgan, Lewis & Bockius) where she was the firm's first female associate attorney. She moved to the Capital District and worked at McNamee Lochner Titus and Williams, where she was also that firm's first female associate.  At the time of her death, Ms. Tharp was a partner in the firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, in Albany, and was the chair of the firm's real estate practice group. 

Elected in 1994 to membership in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Ms. Tharp was a fellow, director and treasurer of The New York Bar Foundation and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She also was a member of the American Bar Association, where she served as a delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, and a member of the Albany County and Saratoga County bar associations.

The Real Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association serves New York real property lawyers and the public, promotes the successful transaction of real estate business in New York State, and contributes to the sound development of real property law in New York State.

Founded in 1950, The New York Bar Foundation provides funding through its grant making program to increase public understanding of the law; improve the justice system and the law; facilitate the delivery of legal services; and enhance professional competence and ethics. To learn more about The New York Bar Foundation and how you can support its charitable programs, go to, phone 518-487-5651 or email


The 77,000-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. For more information, visit us at our Web site at