Cristine Cioffi of Niskayuna has been elected president of The New York Bar Foundation, which last year awarded $1.24 million in law-related grants to 70 organizations statewide.
Cioffi said her main goals as president are to raise the Foundation’s visibility among attorneys and the public, provide grants in all 62 New York counties, strengthen youth courts and respond to the changing need for Foundation services.
“In the last two years, there were many, many requests for grants that were designed to either prevent bankruptcies, prevent foreclosures or help people who were experiencing serious economic problems gain access to legal services,” she said. “Ideally, as the economy recovers, the need for those kinds of services will decline, allowing us to direct grant money to other areas of need.”
Cioffi is president and partner of Cioffi, Slezak & Wildgrube, where she practices primarily in the fields of estate planning, administration and elder law. She served for 10 years as a Schenectady County legislator, including two years as minority leader, and is a past president of the Schenectady County Bar Association.
At the Bar Association, she served on the House of Delegates and has been a member of the Executive, Finance, Sarbanes Oxley, Strategic Finance and Media Awards committees and the Special Committee on Issues Affecting Same-Sex Couples. Prior to being elected president of the Bar Foundation, she served as its assistant secretary.
She is immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees of Ellis Medicine, where she continues to serve on the board, and is a trustee of the Ellis Hospital Foundation.
She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Albany Law School.
Other current officers are John J. Kenney of New York City (Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney), vice president; Patricia K. Bucklin of Albany (New York State Bar Association), secretary; and Richard Raysman of New York City (Holland & Knight), treasurer.
The Foundation is the charitable arm of the New York State Bar Association. Founded in 1950, The Bar Foundation supports legal research and education; provides funding for legal assistance, particularly to the poor; and works to ensure high standards of professional ethics and enhance the public’s understanding of legal heritage.
A philanthropic organization, The New York Bar Foundation directs grant money toward legal service agencies, not-for-profit organizations, local bar associations, elementary and high schools and other organizations that assist children and adults. Grants are awarded for legal services, representation and advocacy; technology and innovation; aid to disabled veterans; and education, scholarship and fellowships. Amounts generally range from about $5,000 to $10,000.