A law firm that helped the families of victims killed in last year's tragedy at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, a 91-year-old lawyer who came out of retirement so she could help owners at risk of losing their homes, and a solo practitioner who donated more than one hundred hours of free legal assistance to individuals facing bankruptcy in the wake of the recession are among the twenty winners of the NYSBA's President's Pro Bono Service Awards.
The State Bar presented the annual service awards at a Law Day luncheon at the State Bar Center in Albany. State Bar President Michael E. Getnick of Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP, of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City and President-Elect Stephen P. Younger of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP presided at this year's ceremony. Mr. Younger and Hon. George Lowe of Syracuse co-chair the President's Committee on Access to Justice.
"Pro bono service is at the heart of why so many of us became lawyers - to help our most vulnerable citizens in difficult times. Every day, thousands of attorneys across New York provide free legal assistance to those in desperate need but unable to pay. Today we recognize those attorneys, firms and law students whose extraordinary efforts are tremendous examples for all of us," said Mr. Getnick. "It is a great privilege for me to recognize their outstanding contributions in meeting the State Bar's goal of ensuring equal access to justice for everyone. I congratulate all the honorees. They represent the very best in our profession."