October 5, 2010


ALBANY-The New York State Conference of Bar Leaders today announced a call for nominations for its 2011 New York Bar Leaders Innovation Awards, which are presented annually to honor local bar associations for their innovative and creative professional and public service programs.

"Whether it is educating the public on mortgage foreclosures, coordinating legal services for veterans, or providing affordable legal representation to middle-class citizens, local bar associations serve and educate the public with innovative and timely programs that make a real difference in their communities," said Earamichia Brown of New York (Metropolitan Transportation Authority Office of the Inspector General), chair of the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders. "We are excited to honor the bar associations that help the greater good and improve public confidence in the justice system."

Awards are given in three member categories: small, medium and large bar associations in New York. They recognize the outstanding programs sponsored by local, ethnic, specialty, minority and women's bar associations. The awards program also informs bar leaders of new activities and programs that promote public welfare, public understanding of the law, or attorneys' professional responsibilities.

These awards, formerly known as the Awards of Merit, have been renamed to recognize how bar associations adapt to the needs of their members and the community at large by introducing new programs, ideas and methodologies that benefit everyone involved. Every bar association is encouraged to participate. Every new idea put into effect, no matter how small it may seem, is welcome for consideration. Nominations will be evaluated for their effect on the bar and/or the public; ingenuity and creativity in planning the project; and the scope of the project in relation to the association's resources.

Nomination forms are available online at Nominations must be received by November 19, 2010. For further information, contact Mark Wilson, Office of Bar Services, or call 518/487-5540. Awards will be presented at the conference's Breakfast for Bar Leaders on January 28, 2011, during the State Bar's Annual Meeting in New York.

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.