SIDEBAR Summer 2019 - 13


dealing with the outside world. At the end of the program,
there were a few "success" stories of people who made it by
somehow staying out of jail, but for many of those, it was not
their first time participating in this program. In one of the
true ironies of the program, these individuals perhaps best
represented the roots of recidivism - the need to go through
the process of release and return to jail repeatedly before
figuring out how to survive.
During the second portion of the Summit program,
breakout groups representing a mix of agencies sat down to
discuss their real world experiences in working with release
and reentry. The exchange of information made it clear
that while there are many agencies providing specific types
of assistance, much needs to be done to coordinate efforts.
Many ideas were exchanged and information shared as to the
potential solutions to the challenges which individuals face
upon reentry and how agencies can work together to assist
these individuals.
The morning ended with three former incarcerated
individuals sharing their personal stories of frustration and
challenges in the process of reentry into society after release.
Our limited pretend experiences only touched upon the
real life challenges of recovering from addiction, finding
employment, finding housing, juggling resources, prioritizing,
and problem-solving after leaving an environment where life is
strictly regimented.
On a personal level the experience made me proud of the
role that the Montgomery Bar Foundation plays in reaching
out to our surrounding community. The Montgomery
Bar Foundation grants to agencies such as Legal Aid of
Southeastern Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Child
Advocacy Program, Women's Center of Montgomery County,
and HIAS Pennsylvania provide much-needed assistance
to a substantial population in Montgomery County which
struggles to secure access to legal services. The Montgomery
Bar Foundation's ongoing sponsorship of the EPIC Program
(Eviction Prevention and Intervention Coalition) is a
continuing effort to address homelessness in Montgomery
County by allowing the legal system to assist in resolving
landlord/tenant issues. My contributions to the Montgomery
Bar Foundation through its Fellows Program provide a
rewarding way for me, as one who has had the good fortune
to be a Montgomery County attorney for the last 35 years, to
give back to those who are less fortunate in our community.

Montgomery Bar
Launches NEW
Diversity in
Justice and
Education Fund


ince its inception, the Montgomery Bar Foundation
has awarded nearly $800,000 in grants and other
contributions to worthy organizations, supporting lawrelated educational, charitable, and humanitarian projects
throughout Montgomery County. Though its impact has
been deep, the work of the Foundation is not even close to
complete. As it continues to support worthy organizations
through its long-standing grant program, the Foundation also
works to broaden its impact through innovative new programs
and partnerships. To that end, the MBF is proud to announce
the establishment of The Montgomery Bar Foundation
Diversity in Justice and Education Fund.
This fund will support grants to government and public
interest organizations who provide opportunities to diverse law
students through the Montgomery Bar Association's Robert E.
Slota, Jr. Summer 1L Diversity Program. This program, which
just completed its eleventh year, is a key component of the
MBA's diversity initiatives, working to foster greater diversity
throughout the Montgomery County legal community, an
essential component of equal access to justice for all (see
the next issue of Sidebar to learn more about these growing
diversity initiatives). By providing these grants to government
and public interest organizations, the Foundation will make it
possible for them to participate in this important internship
program and develop a pipeline of qualified future lawyers
representative of the increasingly diverse communities they
Please consider supporting these unique opportunities
for diverse young law students by making a tax-deductible
contribution to the Diversity in Justice and Education
Fund at or by contacting
Nancy Walsh ( for more

SUMMER 2019 13

SIDEBAR Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Summer 2019

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