The Foundation is the charitable arm of the Monroe County Bar Association (the “Bar”).  Its mission and purpose is to advance and improve the administration of justice by supporting the charitable, educational, civic and humane purposes of the Bar and the legal community.  The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all, educating the community about our legal system and assisting members of the Bar in need.

The Foundation generally awards grants in amounts less than $5,000.00 per recipient, with awards in the last fiscal year ranging from $1,500.00 to $18,000.00.

The Foundation considers many factors in reviewing a grant request.  Some of the factors are:  (1) how well the program aligns with the mission of the Foundation, (2) whether there is an unmet need or an underserved population addressed by the program, (3) how innovative the program is in developing a solution to the need, (4) the financial stability of the requestor, (5) whether the requestor has access to other funds to leverage the Foundation's support, (6) if the Foundation previously funded the program, how successful the program was in meeting its objectives, and (7) whether the program can become self-sustaining over time.

Extended Application deadline: May 15, 2020

To apply, please complete the grant application:

2020 Grant Application (Word doc)

2020 Grant Application (Fillable PDF)

Please email, mail or fax your application to:
Debbie Ryan
Foundation of the Monroe County Bar

255 East Ave, Suite 305
Rochester, NY 14604

Email to or fax to 546-1807

Please see below for a list of last year's grant recipients:

Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program

A grant of $18,000 was awarded to the award-winning Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program, a program of the Monroe County Bar Association, Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and the Rochester Black Bar Association. The funds will be used to pay the salary of a first-year law student employed by a legal service provider for a 10‑week internship this coming summer and to help defray costs of educational and social programs held for the students throughout the summer.

Rochester Teen Court
This grant in the amount of $15,000 was awarded to help fund the Rochester Teen Court under the umbrella of The Center for Youth. Teen Court is a diversion program operated through the City Court of Rochester for young adults who have committed first-time, non-violent crimes.  Defendants whose cases are transferred to Teen Court have a disposition of their criminal charges by teen peers acting as prosecutors, defense counsel, court
 personnel and jurors. A Rochester City Court judge presides over the proceedings, and teen jurors recommend sentencing.

Deaf Equal Access Fund
A grant in the amount of $3,500 has helped to provide association member attorneys with partial reimbursement for the costs of interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing, hired through a collaborative partnership with Lifespan. The MCBA is committed to ensuring that the Greater Rochester Area’s 50,000 deaf and hard of hearing citizens have access to attorneys and also to assisting local attorneys in fulfilling their obligations to this unique community according to the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act.

Memorial Ceremony
A grant in the amount of $1,500 was awarded to the MCBA's Annual Memorial Ceremony. Each year, the ceremony honors those attorneys and judges who have passed away at the Hall of Justice with tributes and a presentation about each of them.

Sydney R. Rubin Mock Trial Competition
A grant in the amount of $1,500 will be used to help fund this annual high school mock trial competition. The competition provides an opportunity for high school students to learn about the law and its protocol and procedures, as students from different schools throughout Monroe County compete against each other in trial competitions. Each year the tournament hosts 200 to 250 students representing 18-22 high schools, along with a number of volunteer teacher coaches, attorney team advisors, judges and court personnel.

Justice for All Legal Resource Directory
A grant in the amount of $4,500 was used to create a resource directory for those seeking legal help of which agencies deal with what type of law.