During the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in New York City, the ABA Young Lawyers Division presented its 2008 Fellows Award for Public Service to Helaine M. Barnett, president of the Legal Services Corporation.
The award was created by the Young Lawyers Division in 1977 to recognize individuals for their distinguished service to the public and the legal profession. Previous recipients include Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., former senators Howell T. Heflin and Howard H. Baker, Jr., Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, judges and distinguished members of the ABA.
Helaine Barnett is the first legal aid attorney to serve as president of LSC, and, now in her fifth year, is the longest-serving LSC president.
Before joining LSC, Barnett devoted her entire 37-year professional career to providing legal services to the indigent as a lawyer with The Legal Aid Society of New York City. She was involved in managing the society's multi-office Civil Division, which she headed from 1994 until the end of 2003.