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LAS Remembers Veteran Communications Director Pat Bath

The Legal Aid Society is mourning the loss of Pat Bath, who served the organization and its clients for 44 years in the role of Director of Communications. Read a statement from Pat’s family below.

It is with extreme regret that we inform you of the passing of a true Legal Aid champion. Pat Bath passed away after giving 44 years of dedicated service to The Legal Aid Society (LAS) and the citizens of New York City. She was a true believer in The Legal Aid Society’s quest for the betterment of the clients and the staff.

Pat Bath, a professional journalist and retired Legal Aid Society Director of Communications, passed away on October 11, 2022.

Pat Bath’s journalism career began soon after college graduation as a young reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Eventually, Pat rose to City Editor for the newspaper. In 1971 Pat was awarded the Tribune’s Edward Scott Beck Award for Domestic Reporting. The award was for reporting on the poor medical care in Chicago’s underserved minority communities.

With her husband and their young son, the family moved to the East Coast. It was at this time that Pat transitioned from full‐time journalism to public information. In the 1970’s she took a position at The Legal Aid Society as the Director of Public Information. Over the decades, the job title changed to Director of Communications. Pat turned the Public Information office into a thriving information and media source about the organization’s groundbreaking legal work on behalf of its low‐income clients. Her impressive communication skills with the media always kept Legal Aid in a positive light, even during troubling times.

Internally Pat held communications workshops for the attorneys, and built and maintained the LAS website, and the voice message phone tree system. She coordinated and distributed to the community at large “Know Your Rights” brochures. Pat also introduced multiple videos about LAS work and its history. The videos featured LAS attorneys, staff, and clients. In two of the public service videos were featured actors EJ Marshall and Ossie Davis. Guided by Pat’s intrinsic knowledge of the organization, Emmy‐award winner Mustapha Khan directed many of these videos. Coordinating exhibits about LAS was another responsibility. In 2001 Pat worked with the Federal Court system to put on display for one year the history of LAS in which Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg opened the exhibit.

Throughout her career at LAS, Pat functioned as the administrative aide for its Board of Directors. In addition to keeping minutes and membership lists, she organized the Annual Meetings and the LAS Annual Reports. Pat’s dedication to the LAS staff was unparalleled. She was the lead coordinator for the first staff picnics in the late 1990s. She even organized Summer Associate events sponsored by the sustaining law firms. The events were held at popular New York City night clubs in which LAS staff also attended. Pat’s office door was always open to the staff. She organized staff breakfasts, lunches, etc. Further, she chaired the Orison S Marden and Sandra Scott Memorial committees. These awards are to honor LAS employees for exemplary service. No assignment ‐ big or small ‐ was meaningless to her. In fact, during the organization’s 2004 financial crisis ‐ facing bankruptcy, Pat had a dual role. As challenging as this situation was for her, Pat successfully managed both the Communications and the Development departments.

The highlight for Pat was the Annual Holiday Party for Children. She organized and ran this event for over 30 years and engaged the affiliated law firms and corporations to donate toys and financially support the event. Up to 500 homeless and vulnerable children and their families were served every December.

Prior to her retirement Pat worked on two significant projects. The projects were writing the history of The Legal Aid Society and creating an alumni group ‐ a database of former LAS employees. Pat received the Orison S Marden Award in 2013. She was recognized by her peers for her unwavering commitment to The Legal Aid Society, its mission, its clients, and its staff. This dedication remained unchanged even as she approached the next phase of her life.

Pat Bath is survived by her son Dane Bath; daughter‐in‐law Inaliza Bath; grandchildren Natashja, Dane, Gabriel, Abriana; and step‐grandchildren Inverly and Inderly.