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Vance Center Announces 2010 Access to Justice Award Winners

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Vance Center Announces 2010 Access to Justice Award Winners


Michael Cooper and Fundación Pro Bono Chile to Receive Honor

The New York City Bar Association's Vance Center for International Justice presented its annual Access to Justice Awards at a ceremony and reception on September 27, 2010, at the Thomson Reuters Building. The Cyrus R. Vance Access to Justice Award recognizes exemplary achievement in extending access to justice on a global basis. Award recipients' efforts "challenge impunity and give voice to marginalized people and communities throughout the world." This year's recipients are:

Presented by: Samuel W. Seymour, New York City Bar Association President

Presented by: Cyrus Vance Jr., Manhattan District Attorney

Michael Cooper served as a litigation partner at Sullivan & Cromwell for 35 years, and is currently of counsel to the firm. He also served as New York City Bar Association President from 1998 to 2000. Committed to the development of pro bono services and access to justice around the world, Mr. Cooper was instrumental in the formation of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and was a member of its advisory board. Mr. Cooper remains active in a variety of public interest organizations.

The Fundación Pro Bono Chile forms part of an international network promoting the provision of pro bono services, with the support of non-governmental organizations, law offices and North American bar associations. The Fundación is actively collaborating in the implementation of the "Pro Bono Declaration for Americas" initiative, promoted by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, which seeks to intensify the pro bono commitment of lawyers throughout the region. Through the efforts of the Fundación in Chile, the Declaration has the support of the Chilean Bar Association, the Supreme Court of Justice and the Ministry of Justice.

The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice ( mobilizes the legal profession globally to promote social justice, democracy and the rule of law. To those ends, the Vance Center calls on lawyers to increase access to justice, protect human rights and strengthen the legal profession. Its current geographical focus is Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In all of its activities, the Vance Center puts to work the resources of the New York City Bar Association, the City Bar Justice Center, and the U.S. private bar in collaboration with law firms, law societies, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions worldwide. The Center, founded in 2003, honors the memory of Cyrus R. Vance, past president of the City Bar and former United States Secretary of State.

The New York City Bar Association (, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public's welfare remains one of the Association's highest priorities.

Contact: Eric Friedman
Kathryn Inman