January 8, 2019: State Bar Honors Senior Lawyers and Young Lawyers for Outstanding Commitment to Pro Bono and Public Service Work

The Senior Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) will recognize Ronald C. Mayer, Esq., of New York and Shirani B. Ponnambalam, Esq. of Bedford with the Jonathan Lippman Pro Bono Award on January 17 at the NYSBA Annual Meeting.

This award is presented to members of NYSBA age 55 or older who have provided outstanding pro bono legal service to low income New Yorkers in need or to a New York organization serving the legal needs of low-income New Yorkers. 

Mayer has been a voluntary attorney with the New York Legal Assistance Group since 2006. His work with the Evelyn Frank Legal Services Program provides pro bono elder law advice on a variety of matters, including Medicaid and Medicare. His dedication to pro bono work began after a 32-year career as a banking attorney with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and JPMorgan Chase. 

Ponnambalam is a volunteer attorney with the Pace Women’s Justice Center, where she helps individuals navigate the legal system and provides direct representation to clients with issues relating to family offenses, divorce, custody, and support. Her career began in academia at the University of Sri Lanka, where she also earned a law degree. She began working in private practice in New York in 1988, focusing on family law and divorce mediation.   

NYSBA’s Young Lawyers Section will recognize Preetha Chakrabarti, Esq. of New York (Crowell & Moring LLP) with the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, which is given to an attorney who has actively practiced less than 10 years and has a distinguished record of commitment to the finest tradition of the bar through public service and professional activities. 

Chakrabarti is a member of her firm’s intellectual property group, which deals with litigation, counseling, and prosecution, as well as the environment and natural resources group, which assists clients with regulatory issues arising under various federal and state environmental laws. 

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, which each January attracts thousands of lawyers from around the state, the nation and the world. They come to meet and connect with their colleagues, and to learn from the experts in many areas of the law. 

NYSBA’s 142nd Annual Meeting January 14-18 explores current issues in the law with a presidential summit on January 16 that looks at the #MeToo movement, wrongful prosecutions and whistleblower laws. Speakers at other programs during the week include former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara; New York State Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, who recently served as the state’s first female Attorney General; Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; State Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried; and Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here.

Contact: Brendan Kennedy
bkennedy@nysba.org
518-487-5541