The attorneys at Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C. have a longstanding history of giving back to the communities in which they live and work by responding to the need for making legal services more accessible. Using our expansive legal knowledge and experience to help others is an integral part of our Firm’s culture. All of our attorneys are encouraged to participate in pro bono services within our community and throughout the state.
The Firm provides pro bono services, including providing free legal services to individuals who cannot afford them, advising not-for-profit organizations and serving on boards for a variety of legal services organizations and not-for-profit organizations. Specifically, the Firm has strong relationships with two of the Capital District’s pro bono services organizations – the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY) and The Legal Project. Over the course of his career, Firm Principal James T. Towne, Jr. has been a key asset to both of these organizations through ideas, time and essential funding. In 2015 alone, Jim played a significant role in expansion projects for each organization.
With the grand opening of LASNNY’s new Saratoga Springs location, Jim and his wife Sue made substantial efforts to kick start LASNNY’s fundraising campaign. Shortly thereafter, Jim partnered with E. Stewart Jones, Esq. to create a one-to-one fundraising match for up to $20,000.00. The funds raised assisted LASNNY by driving down the 15-year mortgage on the property, which led not only to considerable savings over the lifetime of the loan, but also allowed for a greater focus on providing residents of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties with easier access to legal services. Additionally, Jim served on LASNNY’s Executive Board for over 19 years and has a long-standing practice. Jim’s commitment to and long standing belief that the legal profession should give back to those in need of legal services is clearly demonstrated by his countless hours spent in support of this organization and the clients it serves.
Later in 2015, Jim approached Lisa Frisch, Executive Director of The Legal Project, to share his concerns about the difficulties surrounding legal assistance in rural communities. At the time, The Legal Project was in the very beginning stages of developing a Civil Legal Outreach Center. The Center operates out of public libraries and other community centers across the greater Capital Region to provide those living in rural areas, those without transportation and those who have physical challenges, a convenient location to readily access legal advice and support services. The Center utilizes state-of-the-art technology to remotely connect those individuals with attorneys for private, “face-to-face” legal consultations, allowing them to resolve their civil legal concerns more quickly and with fewer obstacles. Jim’s enthusiasm and support for this project was proven again with another generous matching fundraiser, which has raised over $46,000.00 to date.
In recognition of his guidance and dedication to the project, Jim was honored with the Legal Project Champion Award in October 2015. Additionally, Jim agreed to serve as a member of The Legal Project’s Advisory Board. The Advisory Board, which consists of leaders in the Capital Region’s legal community who share in the mission of the organization, work together with the Board of Directors and the Executive Director on significant projects and planning for The Legal Project’s programs and fundraising activities.