June 16, 2010


ALBANY - Jeff L. Hogue, supervising attorney of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. (LAWNY), 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 honors a legal services staff attorney who provides outstanding criminal or civil representation to low-income clients.

A skillful and effective advocate for low-income and disadvantaged clients, Hogue was recognized for his leadership in increasing access to justice through the use of technology. He successfully helped LAWNY transition from typewriters to computers, thereby increasing its efficiency as a legal services advocate. Hogue also helped launch the Access2Justice Author (A2J) software, which enables legal aid attorneys and court personnel to create Web-based guided interviews that help the public understand their legal rights and prepare simple pro se forms. In 2009, New York State posted 161 A2J guided interviews and more than 32,000 people used these Web tools.

"Jeff Hogue is an exceptional staff attorney who has become a national leader in the movement to increase access to justice through technology. His ability to blend advocacy with technological innovation further distinguishes his exemplary service to low-income citizens," said State Bar President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). "The State Bar is proud to honor Jeff Hogue for his extraordinary advocacy on behalf of our State's most vulnerable citizens."

Hogue was presented an 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 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.