September 16, 2010


Award honors State Bar members who have made noteworthy contributions to addressing women's issues

ALBANY-The New York State Bar Association is seeking nominations for its annual Ruth G. Schapiro Award, which is given to a female or male member of the State Bar who has made a noteworthy contribution to addressing issues of concern to women. The award will be presented at the January 28, 2011 meeting of the State Bar's House of Delegates in New York City.

The award was developed and is administered by the Committee on Women in the Law in honor of its first chair, Ruth G. Schapiro. The committee's initial report, developed in 1987 under Schapiro's guidance, has served as a model for subsequent Association reports and actions on issues affecting not only women in the profession, but the public at large. These issues include domestic violence, child abuse, bias, health care and gender equity. Through Schapiro's leadership, the committee formulated several educational programs and publications for the public and the profession.

"Ruth Schapiro's pioneering spirit and indelible accomplishments paved the way for women to make numerous extraordinary and lasting contributions to the legal profession. This award highlights the excellent work of today's top attorneys, who no doubt have been inspired by her work," said Taa Grays of New York (MetLife), co-chair of the Committee on Women in the Law.

Committee Co-chair Sharon M. Porcellio of Rochester (Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP) added, "Some of New York's most distinguished attorneys and bar leaders have received this prestigious award, and we look forward to honoring another outstanding recipient who embodies Ruth Schapiro's spirit and legacy."

The deadline for nominations is October 8, 2010. Nomination forms are available at Nominations should be directed to the Committee on Women in the Law, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207, faxed to 518-463-8527, or e-mailed to Current members of the Committee on Women in the Law are not eligible to receive the award.

Past recipients include: Hon. Judith S. Kaye, retired Chief Judge of the State of New York; Maryann Saccomando Freedman, past president of the New York State Bar Association, currently with Cohen & Lombardo, PC; M. Catherine Richardson, past president of the New York State Bar Association and retired partner (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC); Karen DeCrow, 2009 National Women's Hall of Fame inductee and former president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), who is a solo practitioner in Jamesville, New York; and Hon. Evelyn Frazee, State Supreme Court Justice in the 7th Judicial District.

Founded in 1876, 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. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.