Lanessa Chaplin of Syracuse (Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County) has been awarded the New York State Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for 2018.
The award, presented by the Association’s Young Lawyers Section, honors attorneys in practice for fewer than 10 years who have demonstrated outstanding service to both the community and the legal profession. She received the award on January 24 during the Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in New York City.
“Lanessa’s commitment to her career, the legal profession and her community make her the quintessential recipient for this award and an outstanding example of what it means to be the ‘Outstanding Young Lawyer,’” said John P. Christopher of Uniondale (Sahn Ward Coschignano), chair of the Young Lawyers Section.
Chaplin founded the first African American bar association in Central New York – the William Herbert Johnson Bar Association – where she still serves as volunteer executive director. She founded her local NAACP Legal Committee and also co-founded the Onondaga County Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In 2017, she was part of a small sub-committee that successfully created a minority intern/fellowship program, which aims to recruit and retain minority attorneys in the Central New York area.
When not busy volunteering, Chaplin is the director of the New Start Reentry Program at the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County. There she works to remove criminal barriers to employment, opening up pathways out of poverty for individuals from disadvantaged communities. Chaplin has reached out to local employers to help educate them on New York non-discrimination laws regarding criminal records, creating more job opportunities in the community.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Christian Nolan