January 25, 2011


NEW YORK-The late Nancy Dillman Peck was honored posthumously with the New York State Bar Association's Kay Crawford Murray Award for her lifetime of pioneering work in advancing women in the legal profession. Sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Women in the Law, the award honors an attorney who works to enhance diversity in the legal profession and whose efforts have advanced the professional development of women attorneys. The award was presented to her husband at an awards lunch on January 25 during the State Bar's Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in Manhattan.

Co-founder and former president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and later, president of the National Conference of Women's Bar Association, Peck was a founding partner of Gould & Peck. She was considered one of Rochester's premier family law attorneys.

"The legal profession and the city of Rochester lost one of our great leaders when Nancy Peck passed away this summer. Her life of endless energy, uncommon grace, and dedication to her practice provides a tremendous example for not only all women attorneys but every attorney," said Committee Co-chair Sharon M. Porcellio of Rochester (Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP). "We are deeply honored to present the Kay Crawford Murray Award to Nancy Peck. It is fitting that we recognize her life and career through this award."

Committee co-chair Taa R. Grays of New York (MetLife), co-chair of the Committee on Women in the Law, added, "Like Kay Crawford Murray, Nancy Peck's leadership and dedication to the advancing the careers of women in the Rochester legal community has impacted the lives of countless women.  Though her time was cut short, her contributions made an indelible contribution to the legal community."
A graduate of the University of Rochester and the University at Buffalo School of Law, Peck began her legal career as a clerk to Hon. Michael A. Telesca. She later served as an associate and member at Antell & Harris before starting her own law firm. She was a member of the State Bar Family Law Section's Executive Committee and past co-chair of the section's Mediation and Arbitration Committee. A fellow of the National Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and co-chair of its Women in the Courts Committee of the New York Chapter, she previously served as a member of the board of directors of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York.

Peck served as executive director of the Rochester Area Foundation before entering law school. As chair of the board of trustees of Rochester's Garth Fagan Dance, she ensured that African-American girls from low-income families were given scholarships for classes on dance. She also served on the Advisory Committee of the Women's Career Center.

The award is named for past chair of  the Committee on Women in the Law Kay Crawford Murray. During Ms. Murray's tenure, she was a leader in raising issues confronting women attorneys including spearheading a report that urged the State Bar to propose a model policy for childbirth and parenting as a guideline for law firms.

Past recipients include Kay Crawford Murray herself, a retired general counsel of the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice; Marissa C. Wesely of New York (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP); and Prof. Jenny Rivera (City University of New York School of Law).

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.