Member Spotlight

The New York Bar Foundation

Jul 1, 2019

The New York Bar Foundation works to improve access to justice and enhance public understanding of the law around the state.  Through our grant program, fellowships and scholarships, issue focused campaigns, and partnerships with the New York State Bar Association we continue to assist in making impactful changes to the lives of New Yorker’s.

This year the Foundation will be providing more than $750,000 in grants to innovative legal projects helping those in need. Recently, our grants have:

  • Helped a disabled veteran in Syracuse launch a new small business,
  • Resettled a Syrian refugee family in the Buffalo area,
  • Assisted a teenager from Geneva, with school attendance problems related to mental illness, get the EAP she needed to continue her education,
  • Aided a Brooklyn grandmother in restructuring her mortgage to avoid foreclosure and homelessness for herself and the grandchildren she’s raising.

In partnership with the sections of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and the Chief Judge of the State of New York, the Foundation administers fellowships and scholarships for worthy up-and-coming law students, including those from underprivileged or diverse backgrounds, and those who are committed to public interest work.  More than $215,000 in fellowships and scholarships were presented over the last year.

Beyond our regular activities, the New York Bar Foundation has also responded to crises, raising and distributing money to assist with legal needs such as restoring housing and benefits to those hit by a hurricane or providing representation to migrant children separated from their parents.

New York Lawyers Love VeteransOne of our campaigns we are very proud of is the “New York Lawyers Love Veterans” online 24-hour campaign.

The Young Lawyer Friends of The Foundation and NYSBA’s Young Lawyers Section have annually led an online 24-hour giving campaign to raise funds to support the Foundation’s grant program with a special focus on veteran’s legal services projects.  The campaign is conducted through social media and email communications and has included participation by colleagues, families and friends from across the United States.  Since its inception more than $40,000 has been generated to assist veterans in obtaining needed legal services.

Kelly W., a veteran assisted by a grant shares, “I am so glad I attended the Veteran Outreach Legal Clinic as I was treated with kindness and respect while receiving excellent advice from the volunteer attorney. As a veteran it was comforting to know that I could get answers to my legal questions in a stress-free environment and will recommend the legal clinic to other local veterans.”

The Foundation is currently working under a new three-year strategic plan with a theme of Enhancing the Rule of Law in New York.  In these fractious times, the rule of law – the principle that ours is a government of laws and not of men – is one of the few things we can all agree upon.  In partnership with the New York State Bar Association, we are probing the question of how our grant-making and educational activities can best foster adherence to the rule of law in New York, as we strive to perfect the promise of a just and fair system for all.

For more information about The New York Bar Foundation visit their website at www.tnybf.org.

Representatives of the New York Bar Foundation and leadership.

Representatives of the New York Bar Foundation and leadership.