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About the YCBF
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Our History

The York County Bar has a long history of philanthropy.  In the many years since attorneys first began practicing law in York, they’ve spent countless hours engaged in pro bono services for individuals, providing legal services at no charge.  Its early years abound in tales of thankful clients “paying” with gifts of chickens and cakes.  In 1991, the Bar formalized its charitable intent with the creation of the York County Bar Foundation.

The York County Bar Foundation was founded in 1991 to promote educational law activities and

house the Bar Association.


In its early years, the Foundation sponsored a small community grants program, scholarships,

public service, and pro bono support for those in need.


As we matured, in addition to continuing our community-service programs, funding from the

York Legal Record allowed us to invest more charitable dollars than ever before in the community.

Beginning in 2007,  the Bar began paying for an attorney to practice family law for York’s

under-served at MidPenn Legal Services, became a major grantor to Pennsylvania Immigration

Resource Center, and was one of the earliest funders of both the Truancy Prevention Initiative and

of the adult treatment courts.


In addition, we began to build an endowment, the income of which will support our

community’s most vulnerable in the years to come.


Today, the York County Bar Foundation endowment stands at over $3.5 million.  It’s a great start.


Professional Stewardship

Two standing Bar Foundation committees, supported by experienced professional staff, are

responsible to the Foundation board for building and stewarding endowment funds:

  • Philanthropy Committee.  Volunteers have significant experience in fund development, estate planning, and oversight of professional investment management.
  • Grants Committee.  Volunteers are attorneys,  judges and experienced grantmakers, focused on community investment opportunities with impact and sustainability.

“As the assets of the Bar Foundation have grown, so has our ability to help York’s most vulnerable get access to justice.  With our professional stewardship  growing along with our assets, the Foundation is becoming one of the community’s main private funders for York’s poorest and most underserved.”

  --Thomas M. Shorb, Esq., Stock and Leader


Mission Statement

The mission of the York County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the York County Bar Association, is to:  

  • Increase access to justice for all people, particularly those struggling with poverty and abuse;
  • Improve the administration of justice;  
  • Promote public understanding of and respect for the law;  
  • Encourage careers and promote equity, inclusion, and diversity in the legal profession;  
  • Improve the quality of life for York Countians through support for law-related community initiatives.  
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