The 2021 NCBF-LexisNexis Partnership for Success Award honors the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation (CMBF) recognition of its strong and successful partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (LASC or "Legal Aid"), providing pro bono legal assistance to the residents of Cleveland, Ohio, and beyond through the Say Yes to Education initiative ("Say Yes").
This award is presented to a Bar Foundation that meets or exceed the following criteria:
- Has a significant impact on the justice system or the community at-large.
- Advances a foundation mission that has meaningful support from the association and/or its members.
- Engages other community partners (e.g., law firms, the courts, other legal organizations, other foundations supporting or developing law-related programs).
- Can serve as a model for other bar associations and/or foundations that could be replicated in some way.
The CMBS's Pro Bono Programs Are Funded By The CMBF
The CMBA's pro bono and community programs are funded by the CMBF, whose mission is "to be the fundraising vehicle that allows Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association members to provide outstanding programs and initiatives that serve the Cleveland metropolitan community, provide pro bono legal assistance, and advance public law-related education." Say Yes, like the CMBA's many pro bono and community programs, carries out the Foundation's mission through an intimately connected partnership between the Bar and Foundation, involving reciprocity of staff time and resources but ultimately funded and supported by the CMBF. Via a thorough grant review process each year, the CMBF supports and guides the CMBA's pro bono and community initiatives.
Honoring A Commitment To Families Of Schoolchildren
While the CMBA and Legal Aid partner in several successful programs, their work on the Say Yes to Education initiative has arguably the broadest impact, honoring both organizations ' commitment to families of schoolchildren who attend the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).
Cleveland became the fourth city in the United States designated as a Say Yes to Education community . . .
In 2019, Cleveland became the fourth city in the United States designated as a Say Yes to Education community. The Say Yes program guarantees every student in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and certain collaborating charter schools the financial support for post-secondary education, and the supportive services needed to successfully complete Kindergarten through 12th grade. Say Yes Family Support Specialists at each school connect families with needed services and resources, including legal assistance.
Legal services to ensure shelter, safety and economic security are an important component Say Yes to Education. This partnership significantly impacts the Cleveland community’s access to justice and provides meaningful opportunities for lawyers to give back to the community.
CMBF accepted their award in person at the NCBF Annual Meeting in Chicago on July 30, 2021. Representing CMBF, was NCBF Past President and CMBF Director of Member Engagement, Mary Groth.