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February 27, 2006

Bar Assn. Kicks Off Raising the Bar Campaign to Benefit Bar Foundation

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Bar Association, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, kicked off its Raising the Bar Campaign Feb. 27 with a letter addressed to the managing partners of the city’s 75 largest law firms. The campaign addresses the call by Alan M. Feldman in his December 2005 inaugural speech as the 79th Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association for “every law firm in our legal community, large and small, to contribute $300 per lawyer to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, the Volunteers for the Indigent Program and/or to the legal services organization of your choice."

Kathleen D. Wilkinson, Assistant Secretary for the Board of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and Wendy Beetlestone, a Trustee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, have been named co-chairs of the campaign by Chancellor Feldman and Bob Lane, President of the Foundation. Wilkinson is a partner at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP while Beetlestone, former general counsel for the School District of Philadelphia, is a shareholder at Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin.

Founded in 1964 as the charitable arm of the Philadelphia Bar Association devoted to the support of legal services agencies, the Philadelphia Bar Foundation's mission is to promote access to justice for all of our fellow citizens in the region, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. The Foundation provides grants and technical assistance to legal services organizations that have demonstrated both a need for financial support and an effective program for assisting clients. During 2005, the Bar Foundation funded 29 legal organizations with grants ranging in size from $2,000 to $100,000.

There are three ways for Philadelphia law firms and individual lawyers to contribute to "Raising the Bar":

  • Make direct donations to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation;
  • Make a direct donation to a Philadelphia public interest law agency;
  • Match an employee's donation to the Bar Foundation or a public interest law agency via the United Way Campaign.

Philadelphia Bar Foundation grant applications and criteria are available HERE.

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