January 28, 2011


 Award given for projects serving non-English speaking residents' special needs

NEW YORK-The New York State Conference of Bar Leaders today announced the Nassau County Bar Association has received its 2011 Bar Leaders Innovation Award for Large Bar Associations (2,000 members or more). The award honors a local bar for its public service and innovative programming that enhances the public's understanding of the law.

The award was given at the NYSCBL Innovation Awards Breakfast on January 28 during the New York State Bar Association's 134th Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in New York City.

The award recognizes the Nassau County Bar Association for its Bridge Over Language Divides (BOLD) Initiative, which aims to more effectively service an increasingly diverse public whose primary language is other than English. The initiative's achievements include: providing Spanish-speaking attorneys at the monthly free legal clinics on mortgage foreclosures; demonstrating what immigrants applying for US citizenship may expect during their citizenship interviews; and providing Creole-speaking attorneys to Haitians living in Nassau County during the 2010 earthquake.

"With approximately 20 percent of Nassau County residents speaking a language other than English, the Nassau County Bar Association has done a tremendous job of using its members to better serve the public with legal services they need, but might not be aware of or know how to get. The Nassau County Bar members have shown genuine caring for their community and in the process have built bridges of assistance between the bar and public," said Earamichia Brown of New York (Metropolitan Transportation Authority Office of the Inspector General) chair of the Conference of Bar Leaders. "We are delighted to present the Nassau County Bar Association with our Bar Leaders Innovation Award in recognition of its terrific new initiative."

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.

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. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for 135 years.