What a phenomenal evening full of gratitude, laughter, and appreciation for Justin and all those who support Empire Justice Center! We want to thank everyone who made the night a success – our supporters, our sponsors, and our friends. Special appreciation goes out to our Lead Law Firm sponsor, Bond Schoeneck & King and our Lead Corporate sponsor, JPMorgan Chase.

For those who were unable to attend, we honored Justin Vigdor for his unyielding support of civil legal services and Empire Justice Center.

Justin, who is Of Counsel at Bond Schoeneck & King, has dedicated his entire career to improving access to justice. He is the embodiment of the private bar commitment and leadership that has driven so many improvements in New York and across the country.  He led the efforts of the New York State Bar Association in the early 1980’s to secure the creation of the Interest on Lawyer Accounts (IOLA) Fund which has driven over $470 million into the legal services delivery system.

Justin led the early efforts to press for greater pro bono involvement of the private bar while at the same time maintaining those efforts as voluntary.  And, as Chair of the Partnership for Equal Justice Campaign, he was the driving force behind the creation of the Telesca Center for Justice.  The Campaign raised almost $3 million to co-locate Rochester’s civil legal services agencies – including Empire Justice – into one centralized location, a realization of a vision that has since become a model for the country.

His work with legal services and efforts to expand Access to Justice are just a slice of Justin’s life. A true Renaissance Man, Justin’s involvements range from community boards to national legal work to the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.  He is simply and powerfully an inspiration to us all.

Justin inspires us all to be involved, to stay involved, to lead with kindness and to make this world a better place.  He is a leader in every sense of the word – and we were so honored to celebrate him.

More than 120 people joined us for the Celebration of Leadership, helping to raise more than $41,000! Proceeds from the event will help to make the law work for all New Yorkers, especially those who need its protection the most.

Thank you again!


Anne Erickson,
President & CEO