ALBANY -- Albany City Court Judge Helena Heath-Roland is the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Service Award by the Law, Youth and Citizenship Committee of the New York State Bar Association.

"Judge Heath-Roland's outstanding record as a tireless volunteer and advocate for the youth of her community made her selection by our committee a natural one," said Committee Chair James Hanlon.

Heath-Roland collaborated with the Albany Police Department and helped establish the Albany Youth Police Council to facilitate communication and foster mutual respect between inner-city teenagers and police officers. The council created a "Know Your Rights" training video to increase student and community understanding of the role of police officers and the judicial system.

"I am deeply honored to be recognized by my peers with this award that holds such great personal meaning for me," said Heath-Roland. "I have been fortunate in my life to have been inspired by great lawyers and jurists to pursue a career in law. I believe a little encouragement goes a long way, and I am committed to helping young people as others have helped me."

Heath-Roland currently serves as co-chair of the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association's Youth and the Law Committee. As past co-chair of the Capital District Women's Bar Association's Lawyer in the Classroom Committee, Heath-Roland spearheaded a program where CDWBA members made law-related presentations to students in Capital District area middle and high schools.

"Judge Heath-Roland has planted the seeds of possibility and self-confidence in the youth for them to believe they can pursue a career in law, become a lawyer, a judge, and be our next generation of leaders," wrote Harris Oberlander, chief executive officer of Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, in his nomination letter of support.

Heath-Roland received the award on May 23.

Since 1990, the Law, Youth and Citizenship (LYC) Committee has presented its distinguished service awards to recognize teachers, attorneys and judges who have made an outstanding contribution to law-related education and fostered understanding of the values of our legal and judicial systems.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.


Contact: Brandon Vogel
Media Writer