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July 12, 2021

State bars in New York, Iowa tapped for ABA-NLADA access to justice award

CHICAGO, July 12, 2021 — The New York State Bar Association and Iowa State Bar Association will be honored with the 2021 Harrison Tweed Award next month for their work to boost legal services for the underserved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award will be presented at the virtual business meeting of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) on Friday, Aug. 6, during the 2021 ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting, Aug. 4-10 virtually and in-person at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The award was created in 1956 to recognize the extraordinary achievements of state and local bar associations that develop or significantly expand projects or programs to increase access to civil legal services to persons in poverty or criminal defense services to indigents. The award is named for Harrison Tweed, an outstanding leader in the promotion of free legal services to the poor and presented annually by SCLAID and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA).

Both bar associations were selected for their exemplary work in responding to legal needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York bar group helped coordinate and lead the state’s legal community response to the pandemic by bringing together attorneys from law firms, the judiciary, corporations and law schools to identify existing resources, areas of need and ways to ensure New Yorkers obtained necessary pro bono civil legal assistance.

The Iowa bar group, in partnership with Iowa Legal Aid and the Polk County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer Project, developed a free legal hotline for individuals and business impacted by COVID-19, providing a source of information and legal assistance to Iowans and addressing a wide array of legal needs arising out of the pandemic.

About the collaborators:

NLADA is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. It provides advocacy, guidance, information, training and technical assistance for members of the equal justice community, especially those working in public defense and civil legal aid.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers 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. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews..