The New York County Lawyers’ Association and the New Rochelle Bar Association have been honored with the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders Innovation Awards for their outstanding public service.
The awards recognize how bar associations adapt to the needs of their members and the community at large by introducing innovative programs, ideas and methodologies. They were presented during the New York State Bar Association’s annual meeting in New York City January 30.
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (Larger Bar Associations category) was recognized for its State Central Registry (SCR) pro bono project. The program provides representation to individuals wrongly placed on the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
“NYCLA’s State Central Registry Pro Bono Project provides an invaluable service to low-income New Yorkers who seek to amend, expunge or seal their SCR records,” said Deborah L. Martin of New York City, vice chair of the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders. “Their efforts make them the perfect bar association to receive this honor.”
Without the project, many clients would be unrepresented and their chances for successfully removing their names from the SCR would be diminished. The program also provides clients with more employment opportunities, due to their amended, expunged or sealed records.
The New Rochelle Bar Association (Smaller Bar Associations category) was recognized for its “Lawyers in the Classroom” project, a joint initiative with the New Rochelle Board of Education. Bar members volunteer their time to introduce fourth- and fifth-grade public school students to elementary concepts of the law. The program allows students to learn about the legal system and interact with legal professionals on a positive level at no cost to the school.
“NRBA’s ‘Lawyer in the Classroom’ successfully instills confidence in young children in the areas of public speaking and advocacy, which ultimately enriches their lives,” Martin said. “This endeavor makes them so special to receive this award.”
The New York State Bar Association, with 74,000 members, is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.
-30-Contact: Christina Couto
Senior Media Writerccouto@nysba.org