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October 13, 2022

Referral agencies in Michigan, New York to be honored by ABA for public service work

CHICAGO, Oct. 13, 2022 — The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Service will host a training workshop for public service-oriented lawyers next week as well as honor two entities and two lawyers with Cindy A. Raisch Awards.

2022 ABA National Lawyer Referral Workshop

Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 19-22

317 Baronne St.
New Orleans, Louisiana

The award, named after longtime advocate Cindy A. Raisch, recognizes public service-oriented lawyer referral and information programs that provide access to justice for moderate income consumers across the country. Raisch began serving as the directing attorney at the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service in 1984, and quickly became a dynamic, inspirational leader in the LRS community and later chaired the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral Service. She died of cancer in 1994 at age 37.

This year’s award honors the Asian American Bar Association of New York Legal Referral & Information Service (AABANY) for its development and implementation of a major program concept that increases the public’s access to appropriate legal and nonlegal services. As a new program, the AABANY’s legal referral and information service connects members of the New York Asian American community with appropriate legal counsel, overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers and increasing the accessibility of legal referral services in the greater New York area for an underserved demographic.

The 2021 award, which was not given because of the pandemic, recognizes the State Bar of Michigan Lawyer Referral Service for its development and implementation of major program concepts that increase the public’s access to appropriate legal and nonlegal services. While many programs ceased or scaled back operations during the pandemic, the Michigan bar’s program was able to pivot in response to then-existing needs, adding both first responder and rapid response programs to help those that needed it most.

Also, in recognition of their longtime service dedicated to the issue of legal access, the standing committee will present Carole Conn and Charles J. Klitsch with the Cindy A. Raisch Lifetime Achievement Award. Conn served more than 30 years with the Bar Association of San Francisco Lawyer Referral Service, and Klitsch gave more than 30 years to the Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service. Both also provided assistance to lawyer referral consultants across the nation.

All awards will be given at a luncheon on Thursday. The conference offers an array of programs, including those exploring referral services in rural and urban areas; ethics and cultural competence issues; and technology advancements in the use of lawyer referral services. The full agenda of the meeting is here.

All sessions are open to the media, but reporters are required to register in advance by noon CDT Tuesday, Oct. 18. ABA COVID-19 protocols will be in effect. For media credentialing and to receive further COVID-related instructions, contact Bill Choyke at [email protected]

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.