February 2, 2010


Award given for projects to help prevent mortgage foreclosures

NEW YORK-The New York State Conference of Bar Leaders today announced that the Nassau County Bar Association has received its 2010 Award of Merit for Large Bar Associations (2,000 members or more). The awards honor local bars for their public service and innovative programming to enhance the public's understanding of the law. Recipients were honored at a January 29 breakfast during the New York State Bar Association's 133rd Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in New York City.

The Nassau County Bar Association was honored for designing a public service project to help Nassau County residents keep their homes by avoiding mortgage foreclosure during the continuing housing crisis. The project helps provide free legal assistance to Nassau homeowners on how to stave off foreclosure. To date, the NCBA has held eight Mortgage Foreclosure Legal Consultation Clinics. Fifty-three attorneys have volunteered their time and talents to help more than 350 individual residents and families keep their homes while educating many more people about the foreclosure process.

"Local bar associations from Long Island to Buffalo play an important role in educating the public and improving access to the justice system with innovative and timely programs that meet real community needs," said New York State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City). "The State Bar is pleased to honor all the awardees for their terrific work in helping the public, and I commend the Nassau County Bar Association for its excellent efforts on behalf of these homeowners in real need."

"Long Island had the highest foreclosure rate in New York State, and the Nassau County Bar Association did an incredible job of educating its community about all aspects of the mortgage foreclosure process," said Linda J. Clark of Albany (Hiscock & Barclay LLP), chair of the Conference of Bar Leaders. "I am very honored to present our Award of Merit to them, and I applaud their valuable contributions to helping struggling families save their homes during this difficult economic time."

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

Formed in 1979, the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders provides a forum to exchange  information among local bar leaders, as well as between the state bar and bar leaders.

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. State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.