Gary A. Taylor Honored as First Annual Howard K. Berry, Sr. Award Recipient
Friday, May 01, 2009
- Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
Gary A. Taylor, Executive Director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. was honored as the first annual Howard K. Berry, Sr. Award from the Oklahoma County Bar Association at the Law Day luncheon last Friday.
The award was made possible through the generous gift of Oklahoma County Attorney, Howard K. Berry, Jr., in honor of the late Howard K. Berry, Sr. It is meant to recognize exceptional individuals and charitable groups in Oklahoma County who make significant contributions to advancing justice, the justice system and the principles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Taylor was recognized for his dedication to the Oklahoma County Bar and to the public in his 30-year career with Legal Aid. He became the Executive Director of Legal Aid in 2003 and, prior to that, served as Litigation Director and staff attorney with Legal Aid .
He is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Oklahoma City Bar Association, the OBA Family Law Section, the National Association of Counsel for Children, the OCBA Juvenile Law Committee, the Access to Justice Committee of the OBA, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs.
Legal Aid is a non-profit law firm that aims to help qualifying low-income individuals. Each year, these dedicated professionals provide legal assistance to almost 20,000 people, in situations of domestic violence, consumer disputes, evictions, obtaining or keeping government benefits, and other areas of the law where attorneys in private practice cannot help. Cases are handled based on need and priority is given to the most urgent cases.
Given the seemingly dismal times of today's economy, Legal Aid is an institution that can serve as a beacon of hope for those who have fallen victim to our economy or have simply come upon hard times. It is an absolute necessity for those who have no other choice.
is no secret that a huge part of Gary's role is to campaign for the funds that are so vital to Legal Aid. He remains inspired and driven toward seeing that all Americans have access to our courts for the settlement of disputes, and that this access is meaningful.
Taylor said he was gratified and humbled by the award. "Whatever of note I've managed to accomplish in my legal career couldn't have been done without all the staff, friends, and funding partners of Legal Aid lending their effort and support to our mission over the years. I feel I've been truly blessed to be able to do the work I have a passion for; everyone should be so fortunate."