The Law Firm Challenge Guest post By Jeremy Cooney & William Lowe

For the first time, the annual Campaign for Justice features a new component—the Law Firm Challenge—a competition among participating local law firms and public sector entities with the goal of increasing participation among young attorneys (under 40) while increasing awareness regarding the Campaign’s ultimate purpose, raising funds to provide legal services to the low-income residents of Monroe County.

In existence since 1986, the Campaign for Justice is the greater Rochester area legal community’s annual fundraising campaign, aimed at raising much-needed funding to provide critical legal services to residents of Monroe County.  Specifically, all funds raised through the Campaign for Justice are distributed to the Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP), Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY), and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester—three local organizations that provide a variety of legal services to individuals who would otherwise be without the means to gain access to such services. Thanks to the generosity and volunteers of hundreds throughout the area’s legal community, the Campaign for Justice successfully raises over $200,000 each year.  But the need is growing and more funds are needed to help those in our community.

The Law Firm Challenge is a new initiative for 2014 with two key goals: increasing the number of young attorney-donors (under age 40) to the Campaign for Justice, and raising awareness regarding the mission of the Campaign’s three benefiting agencies.  To achieve these goals, participating law firms and public sector practice groups will be divided into one of four categories with similar sized and practice-type entities (Large firms, midsize firms, small firms, and public sector entities), for a two-week competition to engage the highest number of attorneys under age 40 to contribute to the Campaign.  The firm/public sector entity with the largest percentage of donors—regardless of contribution amount—within its category will be the winner.  A social event will be held at the conclusion of the competition for all participants where the winning organizations will be recognized and given a prize.

The Campaign for Justice raises critical funds to ensure our community’s poor have access to the legal system, and it is the hope that the Law Firm Challenge will not only help to insure that VLSP, LawNY, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester continue to receive necessary funding, but will also engage a significant number of young attorney-donors in the Campaign to ensure its future success.

Jeremy A. Cooney, Esq.

City of Rochester

William Q. Lowe, Esq.

Harris Beach PLLC


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