Alan S. Harris, president and CEO of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, will retire on Nov. 30 after 37 years with the agency.
A retirement dinner to honor his service will be hosted on Thursday at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
Harris started with the agency in 1977, after graduating from Brooklyn Law School. He worked his way up, becoming executive director in 1990 and president and CEO in 1998. He is credited with significantly expanding Legal Aid’s services by instituting specialized units for cases of domestic violence, educational advocacy, housing and immigration. Under Harris’ leadership, more than 200,000 people have been represented by Legal Aid.
Harris has also focused on nonprofit management, helping to found the Monroe County Council of Agency Executives, as well as advocating for civil legal services throughout New York state. His leadership in that area was the basis for his receipt of the 2014 Dennison Ray Award from the New York State Bar Association.
The Legal Aid Society traces its roots to 19th century Rochester. Its attorneys represent low and moderate-income residents in civil legal matters and children in Family Court.