Arizona Bar Foundation Announces New Name

June 12, 2002
Contact: Lindsay Hansen
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 12, 2002) - Last week at the annual Arizona Bar Foundation luncheon, Mark Rubin, president of the Arizona Bar Foundation Board of Directors, announced the non-profit organization has changed its name to the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and embarked upon a new image and fundraising campaign. The Foundation’s luncheon was held Thursday, June 6, 2002, during the annual State Bar Convention at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz.

“In our research with lawyers, they admitted that, although they were familiar with the name of the Foundation, they were unaware of its purpose or the scope of its work throughout the state,” said Rubin. “Lawyers also felt the Foundation name was too closely aligned with the State Bar, which was confusing and not conducive to gaining public support. “

In the past, the Foundation has received most of its funding from IOLTA and had the luxury of focusing on the work of the organization rather than worrying about raising money. But, today, with IOLTA funds shrinking, the Foundation must find new sources of funding in order to continue to provide legal aid and further its democracy education programs.

“The name and image of the Foundation has now become a primary focus,” said Rubin. “The new name clearly defines the organization’s purpose, which is to ensure that all Arizonans have access to legal services and that children have an understanding of the legal system that is the backbone of a democratic society.”

The year-long image and information campaign will focus on educating lawyers and the public more effectively about the work of the Foundation, creating on-going communications with the legal and non-legal communities and providing opportunities for lawyers and non-lawyers to support the Foundation financially through membership, fellowship and fundraising events. In addition, the Foundation will work to inform the public about the good work that lawyers are doing in our community.

“Lawyers are active volunteers and supporters of the Foundation’s programs,” said Rubin. “Collectively, lawyers give millions of dollars of free services to those in need in our community. We need to communicate that message to the public. But we also need the support of lawyers and the general public if we are to continue and expand the good work of the Foundation.”

According to Rubin, the Bar Convention provided a platform for the Foundation to launch its new campaign and ask attorneys to pledge their support. “If every lawyer in Arizona would pledge just $100, we would raise over $1.5 million. That money, combined with grants and gifts from the general public, is essential to the financing of the current and future work of the Foundation.”

The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education was created over twenty years ago to support democracy education in primary and secondary schools and to support
legal aid for the indigent throughout the state. In 2002, the Foundation will disburse over $2 million in funding to support 25 legal aid agencies throughout the state.

Each year, the Foundation funds comprehensive K-12 education programs, teaches youth about conflict resolution, peace making, public policy making, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In 2002, the Arizona Bar Foundation will reach 40,000 Arizona school children with this curriculum. In addition, the Bar Foundation administers an annual $300,000 Congressional grant that supports a democracy education program in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For more information, please contact Cynthia Zwick, executive director at 602-340-7329.