June 16, 2010


ALBANY - Pamela Bayer of Rochester (Family Court Bureau of the Monroe County Public Defender's Office) was honored with the New York State Bar Association's 2010 Denison Ray Civil Legal Services Award at the Legal Assistance Partnership Conference in Albany on June 15. Sponsored by the Department of Pro Bono Affairs, the award recognizes a legal services staff attorney who provides outstanding criminal or civil representation to low-income clients.

Serving Monroe County's low-income and disadvantaged community for more than 20 years, Bayer was recognized for her demonstrated commitment to high quality legal representation for indigent individuals involved in Family Court litigation. For example, she played an integral role in the defense of a young mother wrongfully accused of child abuse. Her meticulous review of the medical evidence and diligent advocacy prevented the mother from being convicted and losing custody of her children.

"Pamela Bayer's dedication to justice and deep concern for her clients have undoubtedly saved the lives of women and children in Monroe County. Often faced with limited resources, Pamela works tirelessly and effectively to ensure that her clients have access to the justice system, regardless of their economic status," said State Bar President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). "The State Bar is proud to honor Pamela Bayer for her extraordinary advocacy on behalf of our State's most vulnerable citizens."

Bayer was presented with a recognition award plaque, a $250 cash prize and a free one-year membership to the New York State Bar Association.

The Denison Ray Awards were named for Denison Ray, an advocate for the indigent who led legal services programs in New York and other states for more than 30 years.

The Department of Pro Bono Affairs supports pro bono activities statewide and a variety of State Bar access to justice initiatives. The term "pro bono," derived from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good," encompasses among other things, donated legal services to the poor and disadvantaged.

Founded in 1876, the 77,000 member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New Yorkand the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuous ly served the public and improved the jus tice system for more than 130 years.