The New York Bar Foundation Presents Lifetime Achievement Award To Susan B. Lindenauer
The New York Bar Foundation will honor Susan B. Lindenauer with its Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award at the virtual Annual Assembly of the Fellows on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.
“Susan exemplifies the definition of a Fellow,” said Chair of the Fellows James R. Barnes. “Her dedication to the Foundation, civil legal services, and the Board is unparalleled. It is an honor to recognize her service, her passion, and her commitment to the legal profession and public service.”
Lindenauer is being presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her extraordinary professional achievements and commitment to the legal profession’s highest ideals. Her efforts are reflected in her life of selfless dedication to the rule of law and enhancement of access to justice.
“I am honored to receive The New York Bar Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. My professional career has focused on improving access to justice and supporting the rule of law which is fundamental to our society and our profession. My long-term commitment to the vision and mission of the Foundation is imperative and is in keeping with my lifelong passion of making a difference,” said Lindenauer.
Lindenauer, a “pioneer among women in the legal profession” was one of only nine women in a class of 280 at Columbia Law School. She began her legal career at Cleary, Gottlieb where she was one of only three female associates. Subsequently, she worked at The Legal Aid Society, tirelessly working to ensure that the indigent received high quality legal representation until her retirement 38 years later. Lindenauer served with distinction as counsel to the executive director and counsel to the president and attorney-in-chief (general counsel) at The Legal Aid Society for 25 years.
Lindenauer has dedicated her life to the pursuit of equal justice through her volunteer efforts as well, holding leadership positions and serving on several New York State Bar Association committees. She has chaired the Criminal Justice Section and the Senior Lawyers Section, served on the Executive Committee, chaired the Legal Aid Committee, co-chaired the Committee on Families and the Law, and served on the Nominating Committee, the Committee on Mandated Representation, and the Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct. As chair of the Legal Aid Committee, she led the effort to prepare the first study of the unmet need for civil legal services in New York State. Under her leadership, the Task Force on the Family Court completed a report that was instrumental in getting legislation passed and enacted to increase the number of judges in New York’s severely under resourced Family Court. More recently, the Committee on Families and the Law issued a Report on Racial Justice and Child Welfare that was adopted by the New York State Bar Association.
In addition to her service with the State Bar, Lindenauer serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York State Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA), as a member of the Board of the Fund for Modern Courts, the New York County Lawyers Association, and LegalMomentum–the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund; as well as the Chief Judges Commission on Legal Representation of Parents.
Lindenauer has been an active member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 25 years, having served as vice chair and chair of the Fellows, and currently serves as chair of the Audit Committee, chair of the Cy Pres and Special Gifts Committee, and chair of the Personnel Committee. She is also the Foundation’s chief publicity officer. Lindenauer has been a Fellow of the Foundation since 1985.
“It has been my honor to serve with Susan Lindenauer on the Foundation Board,” said Carla M. Palumbo, foundation president. “She is a wonderful mentor for us all.”
“Susan’s extraordinary professional achievements and commitment to our profession’s highest ideals are reflected in her life of selfless dedication to the rule of law and enhancement of access to justice. She is a force of nature and has devoted her life to the finest qualities and ideals of our profession,” said Michael Miller, a past president of both the New York State Bar Association and New York County Lawyers Association said.“ Susan has made enormous contributions to the legal profession and the community through her nearly four decades in public service as counsel to the executive director and attorney-in-chief of the Legal Aid Society, as well as through various leadership positions at The New York Bar Foundation, the New York State Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, and other organizations.”
In addition to being honored by The Foundation, Lindenauer has received the NYSBA Criminal Justice Section’s Special Recognition for Service to the Bar and the Community Award and was the recipient of the prestigious Ruth G. Schapiro Award given by the NYSBA’s Committee on Women in the Law.
She has also received the William Nelson Cromwell Award from the New York County Lawyers Association and the Medal for Excellence from Columbia University Law School, the Excellence in Mandated Representation Award from the NYSBA Committee on Mandated Representation, and the Champion of Children and Families Award from Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) and was recently presented with LegalMomentum’s Lifetime Champion Award.
“Susan’s example of public service, contributions to the profession and Foundation, and her efforts to advance access to justice and the public interest have truly been an inspiration to countless attorneys over the years. While Susan is a person of quiet dignity and unpretentious elegance, she has always been a fierce and tireless advocate for the most vulnerable amongst us,” said Miller. Susan has been a trailblazer. We sometimes use that term loosely, but Susan is the real deal. Susan Lindenauer’s résumé is extraordinary, reflecting a lifetime of service to provide and enhance legal assistance to children and families. The subtext of her résumé reflects that Susan has never viewed the law as a path to power and riches. Rather, it reflects that Susan has viewed the law as a path to empower the powerless and has devoted her enormous talents, dedication, and passion to improve and enhance access to justice and the rule of law. She embodies the core principles of the Fellows and has been a role model and mentor to countless attorneys.”
The Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes extraordinary Fellows of The New York Bar Foundation, their distinguished careers, and their exemplary service to the public good and the profession. The award is bestowed upon a Fellow who demonstrates outstanding professional achievement, dedication to the legal profession, and commitment to the ideals of the Foundation.
The New York Bar Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization that receives charitable contributions and provides grants to financially support law-related programs of legal services organizations, nonprofits, bar associations and other organizations throughout New York State.