The Bar Leaders Innovation Awards

These awards recognize how bar associations adapt to the needs of their members and the community at large by introducing new programs, ideas and methodologies that benefit everyone involved.

Contact: Paolino Curto

Deadline: January 29, 2021

Date Presented: As scheduled with each winning bar association.

Categories for Nomination:

Awards are presented to associations in each of the categories listed below:

• Smaller Bar Associations (fewer than 500 members)
• Medium Bar Associations (500 – 1,999 members)
• Larger Bar Associations (2,000 members or more)
• Emerging Bar Associations (Officially Incorporated 10 years or less)

Projects and programs designed and significantly implemented between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 are eligible for consideration. Projects that were in place prior to October 1, 2019 are also welcome for consideration if innovations were made to the existing project that enhanced its scope and impact. Nominated programs should:

  • Involve or affect most of the members of the sponsoring association (or)
  • Make a significant contribution to the bar and the public.

The criteria for evaluation of the nominations are:

  • Effect of the project on the bar and/or the public
  • Ingenuity and creativity in planning the project
  • Overall quality of the project


  • Innovative Law Day Programs
  • Pro Bono Projects
  • Public Service Programs
  • Youth and Adult Day Law Regulated projects
  • New Member Services

Prize Awarded: Plaque


Small Bar Association

Rochester Black Bar Association | J.U.S.T. L.A.W program

Medium Bar Association
Asian American Bar Association of New York | Pro Bono Legal Advice and Referral Clinic program

Large Bar Association
New York County Lawyers Association | Veterans Discharge Upgrade Pro Bono program

Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York | The Promotion Project

Small Bar Association
Rensselaer County Bar Association | Restoration of artwork and historic artifacts at the Rensselaer County Courthouse

Medium Bar Association
Onondaga County Bar Association | Creation of Veterans’ Rights and Military Law Section

Large Bar Association
Suffolk County Bar Association | “Another Night” Video Project

Emerging Bar
Caribbean Attorneys Network Program | “What the Health: Mental Health Among Professionals of Color

Small Bar Association
Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys I Creation of the Lawyers Committee on Racial Justice

Large Bar Association
New York County Lawyers Association | Pro Bono Program on Certificates of Relief from Civil Disabilities / Certificates of Good Conduct and New York’s New Sealing Law


Small Bar Association
The Association of Black Women Attorneys | Power Brunch Series

The Dominican Bar Association | Let’s Chat Series

Medium Bar Association
The Asian American Bar Association of New York’s | Seventh Annual Fall Conference: Speak Up / Rise Up / Lift Up

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association | Inaugural Back-To-School Backpack Donation Drive (“Backpack Donation”)

Large Bar Association

The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) | Voter Registration Project

Emerging Bar
The Caribbean Attorneys Network, Inc. | The Conversation:“Something Has to Give” Event

Small Bar Association
Hispanic National Bar Association Region II (New York) | Nail and Hair Salon Business Owner’s Breakfast Clinic

Medium Bar Association

The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York | Hiring of a New Legal Director

Small Bar Association
The New Rochelle Bar Association’s | Lawyer in the Classroom

Large Bar Association

The New York County Lawyers’ Association |  State Central Registry (SCR) Pro Bono Project


Small Bar Association
The Network of Bar Leaders | Rapid response providing assistance to Superstorm Sandy victims by partnering with the Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter, and sharing resources and information

Medium Bar Association

The Asian American Bar Association | IVA: The Myth of Tokyo Rose, Allegiance on Trial

Large Bar Association

The Brooklyn Bar Association | Public Education Programs


Small Bar Association
The Metropolitan Black Bar Association | How to Protect Your House of Worship from Liability

Medium Bar Association

The Albany County Bar Association | Flood Victims Program

Large Bar Association

Monroe County Bar Association | Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program


Small Bar Association
Nigerian Lawyers Association | Pro Bono Legal Assistance Program

Adirondack Women’s Bar Association | The Pro Bono Domestic Violence Legal Project

Medium Bar Association

American Immigration Lawyers Association | Immigrant Assistance Program

Large Bar Association

New York County Lawyers Association | Young Lawyers Mentoring Program


Small Bar Association

The Muslim Bar Association of New York | Muslim Charities Accreditation Program

Medium Bar Association

The Monroe County Bar Association | Lawyer Succession Registry

Large Bar Association

The Nassau County Bar Association | BOLD Initiative (Bridge Over Language Divides)