Law Day – Less than a week away!

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Law Day – Less than a week away!

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With Law Day less than a week away, the excitement is building. Ginny LaCour is handling our annual glut of registrations; logistics are being finalized (this year, a little bit more with the excitement of Spider-Man filming); materials are being printed and remarks are being prepared.

This year, our Law Week starts with the annual Student Awards Ceremony on Monday, August 29, with special guest the Hon. Craig Doran. Sponsored by the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar and the Monroe County Bar Association, the ceremony celebrates our future lawyers and leaders that have participated in the various high school mock trial programs.

On Tuesday, our special guest Vernā Myers will be presenting a workshop on diversity and inclusion. As previously mentioned, I have heard Vernā speak on two occasions, and was so impressed with her message on inclusion. This legal community has really made a significant commitment to recruitment through our Diversity Clerkship Program. Though we have had some success with retention, we cannot give ourselves an “A+” for this one until we really understand and fully embrace the concept of inclusion for all people and all of our differences. Vernā’s message is powerful, but delivered with grace, wisdom and great humor.  The workshop is geared to senior management level attorneys. There are still a few seats left for the workshop, so if you are interested, please call Galina at 402-7185.

And then on May 1, we celebrate the rule of law and belief in equality and justice for all with our annual Law Day luncheon. But while we are very excited about Vernā, we are also excited about our award recipients at Law Day. Each of the recipients being honored demonstrates commitment to the Bar and the legal community.

Past MCBA President and future Foundation President Bruce Lawrence will be honored with our Adolph J. Rodenbeck Award.  Since being president of the MCBA in 1994-95, Bruce has remained active in the MCBA and committed to access to justice issues, currently serving on the MCBA’s Access to Justice committee. As President-Elect of the Foundation, Bruce has played an integral part in Phase II of the Telesca Center for Justice, lobby renovation and creation of the 8th Floor Community Legal Reception. Bruce is well deserving of this honor!

Speaking of the Foundation, the Hon. Patricia D. Marks is being given the Foundation’s Humanitarian Award. An MCBA member, Judge Marks’ exemplifies so much of what is highlighted with the Humanitarian – through her work as a Judge and in her retirement. She was a pioneer in establishing the Mental Health and Veterans’ Courts, and today focuses much of her attention on the needs of veterans and low income clients.  Thank you Judge Marks for your service!

And showcasing what fantastic judges we have in our legal community, the Hon. Francis A. Affronti is being awarded the Outstanding Jurist Award. A longtime and outstanding supporter of the MCBA, it’s no wonder he’s being given this honor. Reading over his bio in the program, I already knew much about his work and passion in the law. But one little tidbit that I didn’t know – Justice Affronti has been inducted in the Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame.  Judge Affronti and his family lived next door to my parents on Seneca Parkway for many years, so this is especially sweet. Congratulations Justice Affronti!

In addition to our awards at the luncheon, both the Legal Aid Society and VLSP give out their highest honors – the James R. Boyle Award and the William E. McKnight Awards. Matthew Fero will be receiving the Boyle Award for his outstanding advocacy on behalf of children. And VLSP is awarding three recipients the McKnight Awards for their ongoing and tireless pro bono representation: Karen Smith Callanan, Steve Carling and Michael Schnittman.

And while these awards I’ve mentioned highlight only a few of our attorneys for their dedication to access to justice and the legal community, they are representative of the greater whole. As we wind down the Bar year and honor our members at various events coming up, I’m reminded by the tireless dedication, commitment and integrity by so many attorneys in the 7th Judicial District. I’m honored to be among you and serve you, and look forward once again, to celebrating Law Day with you!

So please do not allow the Spider-Man web of Hollywood confusion on Main Street keep you away from this great Law Day tradition. Make Ginny’s day by sending in your reservation today, and NOT next Tuesday!! We encourage you to give yourself a little more time to travel to the Convention Center, either by foot or by car.

Thanks for checking in,

Mary

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