Lesley Rosenthal, President

Meet President Lesley Rosenthal

Ms. Lesley Rosenthal has been a Fellow of the Foundation since 2005, a member of its board since 2008, and its vice president since 2011.  She was a vital force in the Foundation’s recent adoption of the Rule of Law as the theme of the Foundation’s forthcoming three year strategic planning cycle.  This follows the successful completion of the Foundation’s prior plan under outgoing president John Gross, which dramatically increased the Foundation’s visibility and grant-making capacity.  “The Rule of Law is a powerful concept that can bring people together in these fractious times,” said Rosenthal.  “Providing access to affordable civil justice through targeted grant making to innovative legal services programs across New York State is one important way that the Foundation can improve both the reality and the public’s perception of Rule of Law adherence in our communities.”

Ms. Rosenthal is the Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Secretary at The Juilliard School.  She is an active member of the New York State Bar Association and many committees, Rosenthal chaired the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, where she launched successful and durable diversity initiatives such as Smooth Moves.

One of the nation’s leading experts in nonprofit management, law, and governance, she is the author of the bestselling book, Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits, and a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers.

She holds degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

 

“The Rule of Law is a powerful concept that can bring people together in these fractious times. Providing access to affordable civil justice through targeted grant making to innovative legal services programs across New York State is one important way that the Foundation can improve both the reality and the public’s perception of Rule of Law adherence in our communities.”

Lesley Rosenthal at podium speaking

A Message from President Lesley Rosenthal

The New York Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the New York State Bar Association. Through our grantmaking, we improve access to justice and enhance public understanding of the law all around the state.  We provide seed grants to innovative legal projects to pilot new ways of helping those in need, as well as legal assistance for new kinds of legal problems.

In partnership with the Sections of the Association and the Chief Judge of the State of New York, we also fund scholarships for worthy up-and-coming law students, including those coming from underprivileged or diverse backgrounds and those who are committed to public interest work.

Because we are privileged to practice law in New York State, many of us are aware firsthand of the vast extent of unmet legal needs.  The NY Bar Foundation is known for our rigorous grant-making process, carried out by uniquely knowledgeable and seasoned attorneys who select the most promising and worthy programs. Our governance has been recognized with awards time and time again. This quality of expertise, local New York knowledge, and caring comes at no cost to the grant funding, since ours is an all-volunteer board.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is working under a 3-year strategic plan, June 2018 – May 2021, with a theme of enhancing the Rule of Law in New York.  In these fractious times, the Rule of Law – the principle that ours is a government of laws and not of men – is one of the few things we can all agree upon.  In partnership with NYSBA, we will be probing the question how our grantmaking and educational activities can best serve Rule of Law adherence in New York, striving to perfect the promise of a just and fair system for all.

Our work is joyful and meaningful, and donating can be fun as well.  For example, if you shop on Amazon.com, you can designate ½ of 1% of your purchase price as a donation by Amazon to the NY Bar Foundation.  It does not increase the cost of your purchase. Please set up the Foundation as the default charity in your Amazon account for all your purchases!

Finally, if you are a litigator, judge or law clerk involved in cases in which there are remaindered funds, please consider the Foundation as a worthy recipient and capable re-granting organization in cy pres cases.

If you are motivated by the possibility of helping us achieve a more fair and equal playing field for all New Yorkers through access to justice, scholarships, and public education programs about the Rule of Law, please make a meaningful contribution today.