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GRAWA President’s Message: Spring brings about changes across the spectrum

wolk-melanie-150x200Spring is one of my favorite times of year, as it is, a time for development and change. The good weather is finally here in Rochester after a very long winter. As such, we can see the new flowers and grass growing throughout the community. Spring also brings about change within the legal community as GRAWA’s year ends and we anticipate the continued transformation and growth within GRAWA.

As most long-standing members know, spring is the time of year that we have our annual meeting and our installation dinner, which is the pre-cursor to the new bar year, which begins on June 1. Personally, I find this time of year within GRAWA to be one of great reflection as to the growth and changes within the organization over the past year and the prospect of new perspectives, goals and events for the upcoming year.

Our annual meeting is scheduled for April 24, at 5:30 p.m. at Nixon Peabody. While we always have important business to attend to at the Annual Meeting, such as electing GRAWA’s board for the 2014/2015 year, and the board for WBASNY, we also spend the evening enjoying each other’s company and catching up with old friends and fostering new relationships.

The annual meeting allows us to conduct our mandatory membership business and to enjoy good friends, good food and a common interest. As many know, it is imperative that we have a quorum at the annual meeting so that we can elect the new officers, as such, we hope to see all of our members there. However, if you are unable to make it, please send in your proxy.

GRAWA also has its installation dinner scheduled for May 22 at 5 p.m. Over the last several years, the event has been held at the Daisy Flour Mill, which will graciously host us again this year. The installation dinner is where we greet our new board members and have the incoming president, Tiffany Lee, provide us with her thoughts for the upcoming year. Additionally, we honor some of our members with various awards.

The installation dinner is truly one of GRAWA’s “can’t miss” events of the year and a good time is always had by all. One of the awards that we disseminate is the Family Friendly Employer Award. The award is presented by GRAWA in conjunction with the Monroe County Bar Association and recognizes a Rochester area legal employer that best provides its employees the opportunities to balance professional and home life. We are accepting nominations through April 18 and they can be emailed to me at

As many of you know, this year, GRAWA reached 300 members and I thank everyone that renewed their membership or joined for the first time this year. Since we have had such a strong membership showing over the last several years, we are starting our membership drive at the annual meeting. We will have renewal applications available and will be able to accept the dues that evening.

I would also be remiss not to mention Law Day on May 1. This year’s topic is “Why Every Vote Matters.” This topic continues to be pertinent as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act. Based upon the lack of voter turnout in local, state and national elections, it is clear that Americans take this right for granted. As such, it is important that the legal community to take the time to remember the importance and significance of the right to vote and Law Day.

My monthly update on Redmond continues to be good news as he grows and develops at an alarming rate. He has been moving around for some time now but over the last month, his verbal skills have really expanded. He seems to be making new sounds every day and is clearly referring to myself and Jeremy, along with the bottle and various other items.

He is also regularly sleeping through the night, which has made the transition to Trevett Cristo Salzer and Andolina P.C. much easier. It was as if he knew that the last several weeks were an important time for my career and has been on his absolute best behavior.

Melanie S. Wolk is a partner with Trevett Cristo Salzer & Andolina, PC, and is the 31st president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys.