During the 8 years that we have now been officially co-located with the civil legal service partners in the Telesca Center for Justice, I have done dozens of tours of our wonderful Center. We have toured former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, every New York State Bar president for the last 7 years, both IOLA leaders, bar leaders from Onondaga, Philadelphia, and ABA Past President William Robinson and Elizabeth Derrico, ABA Bar Services, to name a few. Yesterday, we were pleased to host NYSBA President, Seymour James. Seymour had heard great things about the TCFJ from his President-Elect, David Schraver, and was anxious to experience it for himself.
Seymour had a special interest in visiting the Center because he is also a legal service attorney in his capacity as Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice of The Legal Aid Society in New York City, the largest public defender organization in the country and the primary indigent defender in the city. As he toured the building he ran into several people that he had worked with many years ago including Lou Prieto (LawNY) and Trilby deJung (Empire Justice Center). Following the tour, Seymour sat with myself, and my partner colleagues, as well as MCBA President Connie Walker and Foundation President-Elect Bruce Lawrence, to hear our "Three C's History" — co-location, collaboration and cooperation. I do enjoy these dialogues as it serves as a reminder for all of us in the room what an extraordinary accomplishment we have achieved as a community. We are all in sync on one thing — our success in building this one and only national model is that we were successful in Rochester because of the DNA of Rochester's bar community. Your tireless commitment to support legal services, both civil and criminal, is really unmatched in this country.
As the final touches are made on the lobby, we will begin to plan for the final lobby dedication in early spring. This will be an opportunity to bring all the donors, as well as business and community leaders together to celebrate our collective success in building the Telesca Center for Justice. And we will take the time to honor several giants of the community that have helped us make our 20 year vision our new reality.
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