New York State Bar Association Local and State Government Law Section Award for Excellence in Public Service

Presented By: NYSBA Local and State Government Law Section

Staff Liaison & Contact: Emily Kurtzner, Liaison and Program Manager – [email protected] – 518-487-5570

Purpose: To recognize excellence by a member of the legal profession in the commitment to, and performance of, public service over the course of an exemplary career.

Nomination Deadline: December 1, 2023

Date Award Presented: During NYSBA Annual Meeting – Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Award Criteria: Nominees must epitomize a commitment to the highest and noblest calling afforded by the legal profession – furtherance of the public welfare primarily through work in government or non-profit legal services – over the course of their careers. Their efforts must demonstrate a longstanding commitment to service, honor and integrity. Recipients must have been admitted to the New York bar for at least 10 years, the majority of which should be in government or non-profit legal services.

Judging Committee: NYSBA Local and State Government Law Section Executive Committee will select the recipients upon consideration of recommendations by its Public Service Awards Committee.

2024 Award Winner

Martha KriselMartha Krisel, Esq.
Martha Krisel, Esq. has over three decades of experience representing municipalities. She retired in June 2023 as Executive Director of the Nassau County Civil Service Commission, a position she held for more than five years. Krisel has a particular interest in labor and employment, affordable housing, land use, and environmental issues.

Krisel is an expert in public sector employment, including strategies to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. During her tenure as Executive Director, she introduced intensive outreach initiatives and served as an Executive Committee member of the New York State Association of Personnel and Civil Service Officers (NYSAPCSO).

Prior to her appointment as Executive Director, Krisel served as the Chief Deputy County Attorney for Special Projects for the Office of the Nassau County Attorney. She implemented Nassau County’s fair housing law and worked extensively with HUD CDBG-funded municipalities, including CDBG-DR under Public Law 113-2 Superstorm Sandy relief.  She also accredited the Office of the Nassau County Attorney as a Continuing Legal Education provider and represented several Nassau County agencies, including the Planning Commission, Consumer Affairs, and the Department of Social Services. She hired, trained and mentored dozens of college students, paralegals and law students.

A Past President of the Nassau County Bar Association, Krisel developed its award winning mortgage foreclosure clinic and served as its COVID Chair. In 2022, Krisel received the Nassau County Bar Association’s Past President Award. She has served as a member of the Nassau County Police Diversity Committee and on the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Racism, Social Equity, and the Law. She now co-chairs the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on the Ethics of Public Sector Lawyering.

Krisel is a member of the Board of Directors of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) and serves on its environmental, governance and legal committees.  CCOM is a not-for-profit environmental leader in water quality and environmental issues.

Prior to joining Nassau County, Krisel served as the Village Attorney in Rockville Centre for ten years; she has also taught at Hofstra Law School and has represented indigent children and convicted criminals for New York City’s Legal Aid Society.

Krisel graduated from SUNY Buffalo (B.A. 1976; J.D. 1980).  She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court (2016), the E.D.N.Y. and the S.D.N.Y (1990) and the Second Department (1981).