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Campaign for Justice pledges adding up

Where it begins: Volunteers look through donor sheets to select colleagues to call for Campaign for Justice donations at the CFJ phone-a-thon Wednesday at the offices of Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP. Nora A. Jones

Where it begins: Volunteers look through donor sheets to select colleagues to call for Campaign for Justice donations at the CFJ phone-a-thon Wednesday at the offices of Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP. Nora A. Jones

The annual campaign that provides funding for Volunteer Legal Services Project Inc., LawNY and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester rounded up more than 20 volunteers to make phone calls the evening of Nov. 18 for the Campaign for Justice. The pledges recorded from those 2.5 hours of phone calls added up to $54,790.

Added to early efforts to secure law firm pledges, the Law Firm Challenge (seeking contributions from attorneys under age 40) and an ethics CLE (which generated over $4,000 in donations), the “pledged” dollars totaled just over $100,000 at the end of the night.

The firms who had already pledged donations as of Wednesday evening included Barclay Damon, Boylan Code, Faraci Lange, Harris Beach, Harter Secrest & Emery, Lacy Katzen, Nixon Peabody, Osborne Reed & Burke, Phillips Lytle, Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy and Woods Oviatt Gilman.

The Law Firm Challenge, pitting “participation rates” among young lawyers against similarly situated young lawyers, runs through Nov. 27. Small firms taking part in the challenge include Pullano & Farrow, Littler Mendelson and Faraci Lange. Mid-size firms competing among themselves are Barclay Damon, Bond Schoeneck & King, Boylan Code, Phillips Lytle, Underberg & Kessler and Ward Greenberg.

The pool of large firms includes Harter Secrest & Emery, Nixon Peabody, Harris Beach and Woods Oviatt. Government and public law agencies are in their own competitive segment, including the Rochester City Law Department, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office and the Monroe County Law Department.

A second session of telephone solicitation will take place on Thursday, Dec. 3, at WXXI, using their phone banks to make calls to potential donors at the daytime phone numbers.

Ward Greenberg Heller & Reidy LLP hosted the Nov. 18 phone-a-thon, providing access to dozens of phone lines in their offices on the 18th floor of Legacy Tower. The volunteers were provided a free dinner and a “calling guide” to help them formulate their own script to call donors they knew.

Many of the callers needed no script, as they have volunteered for the phone-a-thon for the many years the Campaign for Justice has used it as launching pad to reach their fundraising goal. This year’s goal is $280,000.

– Photos by Nora A. Jones