The New Leadership Program Launch Party

Approximately 70 of New York’s leading young professionals from all walks of life convened at the Dream Downtown’s Electric Room on January 31, 2013 to toast the launch of a new program at The Legal Aid Society—The New Leadership Program.

The New Leadership Program is a group of young professionals who share the Legal Aid Society’s belief that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty.  Among other New Leadership Program supporters, attorneys, bankers, consultants, financiers, graphic designers, luxury manufacturers and real estate representatives gathered in the Electric Room’s British-style venue to support a great cause.     

William Grant & Sons and the Brooklyn Brewery were sponsors of the event to maximize the revenue raised for client services.

Developed over the past 12 months by a core group of young lawyers, the New Leadership Program’s Board currently consists of 33 members representing 11 banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, and real estate firms in addition to 22 top law firms in New York City.

Revenue raised at this January 31st event went directly to support the Society’s civil legal assistance for the most vulnerable children and adults in all five boroughs of the City, including senior citizens, children and adults with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, immigrants, low-wage workers, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and homeless and imminently homeless children and adults as well as families and individuals with new problems caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Unfortunately, The Legal Aid Society is forced to turn away eight out of every nine New Yorkers who seek the Society’s civil legal assistance because of a lack of funding.  Hugh McKee, of HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and the New Leadership Board member presiding over the Launch Party Event Committee, emphasized the importance of reversing this statistic through fundraising and increased community awareness, and he encouraged  attendees at the event to spread the word about the New Leadership Program. At the event, Board Co-Chair Alberto Rodriguez of Baker & Hostetler LLP was thanked for spearheading the New Leadership Program’s fundraising efforts through “Running for Justice” in the Fall of 2012 via the ING Marathon. Even though the marathon was cancelled, Alberto was still able to generate donations for the Civil Practice.

But the New Leadership Program does more than fundraising. It also offers a wide array of events for members, such as volunteer opportunities, panel discussions about timely issues, and networking opportunities where members can meet other New York-based professionals.

For more information about the New Leadership Program or The Legal Aid Society, please contact Susanna Bonilla-Bowman at or follow us on twitter @LegalAidNYC.