The Foundation of the Monroe County Bar Awarded $35,000 in Grants for 2017-18 

The Foundation of the Monroe County Bar awarded seven grants totaling over $35,000 for the 2017-18 year to support programs that benefit the legal community and its members. This year’s largest grant supports the Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program, which aims to increase diversity in the Rochester legal community.

The grants are made possible through the Foundation’s annual Raise the Bar Annual Appeal and its Jazz For Justice fundraising event. The Foundation’s Board of Directors approved grants for the following projects:

Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program
A grant of $17,000 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 $12,000 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.

A.C.T.* For the Children (*Assisting Children through Transition)
A grant in the amount of $750 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
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.

Memorial Ceremony
A grant in the amount of $1,000 was awarded to the MCBA's Annual Memorial Ceremony. Each year, the ceremony honors those attorneys and judges who have passed away at the Hall of Justice with tributes and a presentation about each of them.

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.

Equipment for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing
A grant in the amount of $2,270 will be used to purchase a UbiDuo 2 Wired face-to-face communication device to help the Legal Aid Society and other partners in the Telesca Center for Justice with onsite confidential legal matters for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The device enables attorneys to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing walk-in clients in real time with less frustration.