In The Community
The Dutchess County Bar Association offers numerous programs and services to the community.
Law Day Free Legal Clinic
In honor of Law Day, an annual observance of the law, a Free Legal Clinic is held each year. The Dutchess County Bar Association has hosted this event annually for more than 14 years at various locations throughout the county. Most recently the clinic has been held at Poughkeepsie Plaza on the first Saturday in May. Consultations generally last between 15-20 minutes, depending upon the issues being addressed.
In addition to the Clinic held each spring, the DCBA does conduct smaller clinics as part of other organization’s events. Please check our website for information on the next Clinic. If you would like us to be a part of your event, contact the DCBA office at (845) 473-2488.
Mock Trial Competition for Dutchess County High Schools
The DCBA is the local sponsor of the New York State Bar Association’s yearly mock trial tournament for New York high schools. Participation in the local tournament is open to any Dutchess County High School. Teams first compete locally throughout January, February and March. The winning Dutchess County high school team is eligible to compete at the regional competition, with the winner of that round advancing on to state-wide competition in Albany. Each year’s case is chosen by the New York State Bar Association and is used throughout the course of the season. Any school wishing to participate in this program should contact the DCBA office at (845) 473-2488.
The Dutchess County Bar Association Endowment Fund
The DCBA Endowment Fund was established to increase the availability of legal services and public understanding of the law. Grants are awarded annually. Additionally, two scholarships are awarded annually. The Joseph H. Gellert Scholarship is awarded to a Dutchess County Law Student in memory of Joseph H. Gellert. The Ben Allen Breslow Award is given to an outstanding student in the DCBA's Mock Trial Competition and is given in memory of Ben Allen Breslow. Our Endowment Fund and scholarships are administered by The Community Foundation of Dutchess County. For more information please visit the Community Foundation’s website, www.communityfoundationdc.org.
Lawyers in the Classroom
The Dutchess County Bar Association has established a panel of volunteer lawyers who are available as a valuable resource to teachers on many subjects. Regardless of how much you know about the law, your classroom activities can be enriched by arranging for an attorney to speak to your students several times each year. Lawyers are available for presentations at schools and civic organizations. If your organization is looking for a speaker, please contact the DCBA.