The Pace Women’s Justice Center’s non-attorney volunteers have won the 2011 Samuel J. Duboff Memorial Award. The Duboff Award, given by the Fund for Modern Courts, recognizes non-attorney volunteers who make extraordinary contributions toward improving the quality of justice in New York State. The award will be presented at the NYC Bar Association on December 14.
The three honorees are Harold Fein, Jordy Bell and Jack English.
Mr. Fein, a retired corporate executive, and Ms. Bell, a retired college administrator, serve as paralegals in the the Center’s Uncontested Divorce Project. Thanks to volunteer paralegals like Mr. Fein and Ms. Bell–who together contributed more than 300 hours last year and handled more than 50 clients–the Women’s Justice Center has been able to represent domestic violence survivors in their divorce cases. These volunteers are trained in interviewing, intake procedures, and substantive and procedural issues, and receive close one-on-one supervision. The supervising attorney and volunteers work closely together to make decisions pertaining to the case and to review all documents prior to filing in Court and throughout the proceedings.
The third honoree, Mr. English, works out of the Center’s Family Court Legal Program office in White Plains Family Court. His responsibilities include client intake, administrative work and client relations.
First presented in 1986, the award is named for the late Samuel J. Duboff, who served as Chair of Modern Courts’ Executive Committee for 19 years. Mr. Duboff was a partner in the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney, and was a respected leader of many civic, social service and civic and social service organizations. He was well known for encouraging others to volunteer their time for community service. Members of the Duboff family remain active in the court reform effort: David B. Duboff is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Modern Courts.