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Trailblazer Ramona Morel Receives the Renaissance Award from the New York Institute of Credit

by Cheryl Lopez February 18, 2021

Photo caption: Ramona Morel, Esq. accepting the Renaissance Award at NYIC’s 14th Annual Women in Achievements virtual ceremony.

Cheryl Lopez is the Communications & Development Manager of the City Bar Justice Center.

On February 3, 2021, Ramona Morel, the City Bar Justice Center’s Consumer Bankruptcy Project Director, was presented with the Renaissance Award at the New York Institute of Credit’s (NYIC) 14th Annual Women in Achievements Awards virtual ceremony for her dedication to excellence in the pro bono sector, and legal and business profession at large.

NYIC is a non-profit educational institution that bridges the gap between business theory and practice through networking and educational programs for credit industry professionals. Each year, NYIC recognizes outstanding women leaving a trailblazing mark in their field. Ms. Morel was awarded the Renaissance Award for her exceptional commitment to continued learning, community service, mentorship and developing new leadership opportunities for other professionals in the legal field over the past decade she has specialized in bankruptcy.

As Director of the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP) since 2017, Ms. Morel has led a team providing free legal assistance to thousands of low-income consumers, helping New Yorkers with outstanding debts, assisting debtors in filing pro se bankruptcy petitions, and providing representation to debtors in contested matters. She has worked diligently to make pro bono programming available to CBP clients who are burdened with consumer debt and seek a fresh financial start. In addition, Ms. Morel has collaborated with the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York’s Bankruptcy Courts to place referred pro se cases with members of the New York City Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee who volunteer to take on pro bono representation. As one of the few bilingual bankruptcy attorneys in the bankruptcy legal community, Ms. Morel conducts workshops and produces valuable, educational resources in English and Spanish for low-income New Yorkers who often go without obtaining essential information due to language barriers and issues of accessibility. Ms. Morel spoke on why she is committed to bankruptcy law:

“I have a responsibility to use my skills and unique position in my network in the private bar to afford our fellow citizens, those low income communities, working families, and small business owners affected by the current pandemic, with a chance at a fresh start – how could we not? – and we realize this through community service and outreach, presentations, direct and indirect pro bono assistance.”

Ms. Morel is a generous and thoughtful mentor to Pro Bono Scholars, legal fellows and interns, and volunteer attorneys of the City Bar Justice Center. In 2020 she received the ACLEA Award for Outstanding Achievement, in the Public Interest Organization category for her co-creation of a Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias for Pro Bono Advocacy CLE, a program that has been very popular among law firms and corporate legal departments, and has contributed to strengthening our pro bono partnerships.

The City Bar Justice Center is proud of our colleague, Ramona Morel, for her significant accomplishments! Congratulations! We are honored to work with an attorney who is making a meaningful difference in the legal profession and on the lives of thousands of disadvantaged New Yorkers through her unwavering commitment to economic empowerment and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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