New York State Bar Association Recognizes Legal Professionals for Commitment to Mental Health and Recovery
The New York State Bar Association honored former Kings County Supreme Court Justice Sarah “Sallie” Krauss and William “Bill” Keenan for their commitment to the association’s Lawyer Assistance Program, which supports lawyers and legal staff dealing with mental illness and substance use issues.
“Justice Sarah Krauss and William Keenan both embody the principles of the Lawyer Assistance Program, including support, community, service and recovery,” said New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis. “It takes strength to overcome such struggles, to be open and honest, and then go on to help others as well.”
Krauss received the Franklin P. Gavin Memorial Award in recognition of her decades of service with NYSBA’s Lawyer Assistance Committee. She served as committee chair from 2006 to 2009 and was an active volunteer and committee member from 1990 until her recent retirement. She was a stalwart at 12-step meetings and a beacon of hope to many.
The Franklin P. Gavin Memorial Award was established in 1991. It is given to a person who has demonstrated outstanding support of the goals of both the Lawyer Assistance Committee and the Lawyer Assistance Program.
Keenan received the Raymond P. O’Keefe award in honor of his commitment to the principles of recovery and the hope it brings. He was an example of how to lead a productive life as a lawyer in recovery, and an inspiration to many through his spirit of generosity and kindness to everyone. He was a real estate attorney in Buffalo for more than 60 years.
Keenan died in 2020. His daughter, Mary Clare Keenan, accepted the award in his honor.
The Raymond P. O’Keefe award is given posthumously in honor of a deceased committee member who has made an outstanding contribution to lawyer assistance efforts through dedicated service.
The awards were presented on May 20 at the Lawyer Assistance Program retreat weekend at Silver Bay in Lake George, NY. The Lawyer Assistance Program retreat weekend began in 1991 to help lawyers in recovery build community, dive deeper into their recovery, and to show those in need the path to hope and joy. The retreat has since expanded to include those impacted by other conditions such as depression, grief and anxiety.