New York Attorneys and Staff Honored for Civil Legal Services

By Jennifer Andrus

October 21, 2022

New York Attorneys and Staff Honored for Civil Legal Services


By Jennifer Andrus

A highlight of NYSBA’s biannual Partnership Conference is the presentation of the Denison Ray and Phil Dailey awards recognizing excellence in the civil legal services field.

“These awards honor the people who work hard every day to bring civil legal services to those in need, who might otherwise face a life-altering crisis without your assistance,” New York State Bar Association President Sherry Levin Wallach told the award winners.

Denison Ray Awards

Kate Callery, Empire Justice Center of Rochester

Callery, who recently retired, worked tirelessly securing disability rights and benefits for her clients. Her 38-year-career focused on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability law. She trained attorneys to represent numerous clients before the Social Security Administration in federal court.

Mallory Livingston, Volunteer Lawyers Project of Central New York

A long-time advocate for transgender New Yorkers, Mallory helped form the New York State Gender Coalition in the late 1980s. She is the director of the LGBT Rights program at Volunteer Lawyers Project of Central New York. In addition to her legal work, she is an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School.

Jill Bradshaw-Soto, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

As chief program officer at the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, Bradshaw oversees nine  offices. She emphasizes community education and engagement and credits the excellent staff training  for ensuring  the best possible results for clients.

Jacqueline Adorno, Mobilization for Justice

As managing attorney for the pro bono and volunteer programs at Mobilization for Justice, Adorno leads the Kinship Caregiver Law Project. It helps relatives caring for children secure orders of custody, guardianship, and adoption. She is being honored with the Pro Bono Program Director award recognizing her work recruiting, training, and mentoring attorney volunteers for pro bono services.

The Denison Ray Awards are named for the civil rights champion who dedicated his career to access to justice. Ray served on the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Law in Mississippi, and with legal service groups throughout the southeast and northeast. He was the executive director and chief counsel of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York until his death in 1994.

Phil Dailey Award

Ron Nellons, Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York

Nellons, a senior legal assistant at the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, works with clients seeking Medicaid and SNAP fair hearings and Social Security disability benefits.

The award is named after Phil Dailey, a paralegal in Western New York and an expert on public benefits law, veterans benefits and housing rights.

Levin Wallach congratulated each honoree

“To do the public good, that is our motto,” she said. “The honorees exemplify that motto every day in their work with the most marginalized and most in need.”

The Partnership Conference was sponsored by the NYSBA Committee on Legal Aid, President’s Committee on Access to Justice, Young Lawyers Section, 50+ Section, General Practice Section and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education.

Six diverse people sitting holding signs
gradient circle (purple) gradient circle (green)


My NYSBA Account

My NYSBA Account