The New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State will recognize the four winners of the 2018 Bar Leaders Innovation Awards on January 18 during the House of Delegates meeting at the NYSBA Annual Meeting.
The four recipients were chosen from a field of 15 nominations in the smaller bar, medium bar, larger bar, and emerging bar categories.
The Rensselaer County Bar Association (RCBA) was selected from the smaller bar associations category, those with fewer than 500 members, for its efforts in restoring the artwork and historical artifacts at the Rensselaer County Courthouse. In 2001, the RCBA and members of the community formed Friends of the Rensselaer County Courthouse, which sought to raise funds to restore portraits and pictures that once hung on the walls of the courthouse. The items had been in storage at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Bureau of Historic Sites facility since 1990.
The Onondaga County Bar Association was selected from the medium bar associations category, those with 500-1,999 members, for establishing a Veterans Rights and Military Law Section with a focus on public service, pro bono, and law-related education. Established in conjunction with Syracuse University College of Law, the primary purpose of the section will be to advocate for the creation of a veteran’s treatment court or track in the Onondaga County Courts for veteran defendants suffering from addiction, mental illness, and other disabilities.
The Suffolk County Bar Association was selected from the larger bar associations category, those with 2,000 or more members, for their production and presentation of ‘Another Night.’ The film is targeted to middle school and high school students and presents a dramatization of the story, from arrest through prosecution, of 14- and 18-year old siblings who become addicted to opioids and alcohol. The public service project, presented along with the Suffolk Academy of Law, focuses on the social, financial, and educational impact on these children, adolescents, and their families.
The Caribbean Attorneys Network (CAN) was selected from the emerging bar associations category, those with less than 10 years of incorporation, for sponsoring an event called What the Health: Mental Health Among Professionals of Color. The event, which was open to the public, gave members of the Caribbean community an opportunity to share their experiences dealing with mental illness, while panelists from CAN, Thrive NYC & the Caribbean American Social Workers Association offered resources for those interested in help finding low-cost mental health services.
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 of 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; Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; State Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried; and Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.
Contact: Brendan Kennedy