Helaine M. Barnett, President of Legal Services Corporation, to be Honored with the 2008 Fellows Award for Public Service
CHICAGO, July 15, 2008—The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will present its 2008 Fellows Award for Public Service to Helaine M. Barnett, president of Legal Services Corporation, on Aug. 8 during the ABA Annual Meeting in New York.
Created by the ABA YLD in 1977 to annually recognize individuals for their distinguished service to the public and the legal profession, this award has honored such individuals as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Associate Justice Lewis Powell and Senator Howard Baker. Nominees are reviewed and recipients are selected by the division’s Board of Fellows.
“From her work at the LSC to her advocacy efforts with The Legal Aid Society of New York City, Helaine has devoted her entire career to serving the underserved,” said Christopher Griffin, YLD Fellows Board president. “We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to honor her exemplary service to our country and her community.”
Barnett was appointed president of the Legal Services Corporation in January 2004 and is the first legal aid lawyer to serve as the LSC president. LSC is the single largest source of funding for civil legal aid to low-income individuals and families, with 137 grantees in more than 900 offices across the country. In 2005, under Barnett’s direction, LSC issued a report on the unmet civil needs of low-income Americans, documenting that for every eligible client that LSC is able to assist, one is turned away because of lack of program resources. She also has emphasized strategies to enhance the quality of legal services provided by LSC programs, including the Pilot Loan Repayment Assistance Program to help LSC programs recruit and retain high-quality lawyers. Prior to joining LSC, Barnett served for 37 years with The Legal Aid Society of New York City, the oldest and largest legal aid organization in the country.
Barnett received her bachelor of arts from Barnard College in New York and her law degree from New York University School of Law.
More information on the award and its recipient can be found here.
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is the ABA’s largest entity, composed of approximately 147,000 members. The Young Lawyers Division, as the national organization of young lawyers, works to provide leadership in serving the public and the profession, and to promote excellence and fulfillment in the practice of law.
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.