To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel :
Founded in 1908, NYCLA is celebrating its Centennial year with many symposia, lectures and other events throughout the remainder of 2007 and 2008 - some looking back at our heritage and others looking forward to the future of NYCLA and the profession. NYCLA will formally observe its centennial in May of next year and will be publishing a fascinating book by Dave Robertson exploring its history and providing many insights into the history of the practice of law in this city At the same time, the NYCLA Foundation has embarked on an NYCLA Centennial Capital Campaign, and I hope my fellow lawyers will participate in that effort as well as some of our events. Support by all our members and all segments of the bar is critical to maintain a Home of Law for all lawyers in New York - in both a metaphorical and literal bricks-and-mortar sense.
One critical need is NYCLA's Home of Law, its landmark Cass Gilbert building at 14 Vesey Street. This is where NYCLA activities occur and where Thurgood Marshall did the research that preceded Brown v. Board of Education . The Foundation commissioned a thorough architectural study which has identified basic work that needs to be done to get the building in shape for the future. The cost of this necessary effort will be several million dollars over the next several years. And, of course, aside from the building, endowment funds continue to be necessary as ever to support and enrich NYCLA's programming and services for lawyers and the public. These include expanded pro bono programs, diversity efforts such as the Minority Judicial Internship Program, and educational programs in the New York City schools.
We have approached major law firms, foundations and government sources and raised almost $1,500,000 already. But more needs to be done and will be done over the coming year.
This is an exciting time for NYCLA, and I hope many New York lawyers will participate in it, both by contributing to the campaign and becoming active, engaged NYCLA members.
Sincerely, James B. Kobak Jr.