Rochester, N.Y. – The Foundation of the Monroe County Bar today announced the award of seven grants totaling $42,000 for the 2013 year to support programs that benefit not only the legal community, but the community as a whole. Several of this year’s grants benefit legal programs that help youth in need in the Greater Rochester community, as part of the Foundation’s mission.
The seven grants are made possible through the Foundation’s annual Raise the Bar appeal and the Jazz For Justice fundraising event. Based on recommendations by the Grants Committee, the Foundation’s Board of Directors approved grants for the following projects:
Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program
A grant of $17,500 was awarded to the award-winning Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program, a program of the Monroe County Bar Association, Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and the Rochester Black Bar Association. The funds will be used to pay the salary of a first year law student employed by a legal service provider for a 10-week summer internship this coming year and to help defray costs of educational and social programs held for the students throughout the summer.
Rochester Teen Court
This grant in the amount of $14,500 will be used to help fund the Rochester Teen Court under the umbrella of The Center for Youth. Teen Court is a diversion program operated through the City Court of Rochester for young adults who have committed first-time, non-violent crimes. Defendants whose cases are transferred to Teen Court have a disposition of their criminal charges by teen peers acting as prosecutors, defense counsel, court personnel and jurors. A Rochester City Court judge presides over the proceedings, and teen jurors recommend sentencing.
Lawyers for Learning Peace Camp
A grant in the amount of $3,500 will be used toward funding Peace Camp, a program sponsored by the Lawyers for Learning program. As part of the Lawyers for Learning partnership with the Monroe County Center for Education, Peace Camp is designed to give underprivileged children the opportunity to learn the importance of appropriate behavior and working together with civility through team building events at a camp facility. For many children, this camp provides their first opportunity to venture outside of the City of Rochester.
A.C.T.* For the Children (*Assisting Children through Transition)
A grant in the amount of $3,000 will be used to fund the A.C.T. For the Children program. The program helps children whose parents divorce or separate by providing information and strategies to parents on ways to interact that engender less stress and conflict. The program also makes parents more knowledgeable participants in the legal process by providing an overview of the legal process and various options to resolve their differences.
Deaf Equal Access Fund of the Monroe County Bar Association (MCBA)
A grant in the amount of $1,500 will help provide association member attorneys with partial reimbursement for the costs of interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing, hired through a collaborative partnership with Lifespan. The MCBA is committed to ensuring that the Greater Rochester Area’s 50,000 deaf and hard of hearing citizens have access to attorneys and also to assisting local attorneys in fulfilling their obligations to this unique community according to the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act.
Sydney R. Rubin Mock Trial Competition
A grant in the amount of $1,000 will be used to help fund this annual high school mock trial competition. The competition provides an opportunity for high school students to learn about the law and its protocol and procedures, as students from different schools throughout Monroe County compete against each other in trial competitions. Each year the tournament hosts 200 to 250 students representing 18-22 high schools, along with a number of volunteer teacher coaches, attorney team advisors, judges and court personnel.
Seneca Waterways Council – Exploring Mock Trial Competition
A grant in the amount of $1,000 will be used to help fund this annual competition at the Monroe County Courthouse, culminating the Exploring Law Program. The competition not only serves the area youth by engaging them in the policy and procedures of a courtroom trial, but also in areas of building life skills, public speaking and leadership, citizenship and character education.
About the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar
Founded in 1951, the Foundation is the charitable arm of the Monroe County Bar, with a mission of supporting the charitable, educational, civic and humane purposes of the MCBA and the legal community. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all, educating the community about our legal system and assisting the members of the Monroe County Bar Association in need.