March 19, 2010


Awards Recognize Public Service Attorneys Providing Service to Low-Income and Disadvantaged Clients

ALBANY-- The New York State Bar Association is seeking nominations for the 2010 Denison Ray Awards. The award, named in memory of Denison Ray, a career legal activist who led legal services programs in New York and other states, recognizes the extraordinary commitment of public service attorneys who provide representation to low-income and disadvantaged clients. Six awards will be presented this year at the 2010 Legal Assistance Partnership Conference in Albany on June 15.

Two awards will honor staff attorneys at nonprofit entities that provide civil legal services and two awards will be presented to staff attorneys employed by Public Defender, Conflict Defender, and/or Legal Aid Offices that represent indigent defendants in criminal court proceedings. Awards also will be presented to a director of a civil legal services, criminal defender, or pro bono program and to a non-profit organization that provides, or facilitates the provision of, civil legal services to low-income and/or disadvantaged clients.

Each individual attorney award recipient will receive a recognition award plaque, a cash award of $250, and a one-year, free membership in the New York State Bar Association. The nonprofit organization honoree will receive a cash award of $1,000 to be used to increase the organization's capacity to serve people in need of legal services through pro bono efforts.

Nomination materials may be obtained at or by contacting the Department of Pro Bono Affairs at (518) 487-5641 or at These materials describe the awards and set forth specific eligibility criteria for those being considered. Completed nomination forms must be received by April 23, 2010.

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.