Catherine “Kate” York has joined The Florida Bar Foundation, a statewide charitable organization whose mission is to provide greater access to justice, as its grant program officer.
The Foundation funds civil legal aid and projects to improve the administration of justice and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the legal aid delivery system. It will award $10.5 million in grants in 2017-18. As grant program officer, York will review grant applications, manage grantee relationships and review performance outcomes.
“Kate will be an integral part of our team as we work to create collective impact in collaboration with our grantees and other partners,” said Jennifer Wimberly, director of grants. “Our board is familiar with Kate’s stellar legal aid work, how she has worked in the trenches and has tremendous insight into the needs of our state’s most vulnerable populations.”
Previously, York worked as a Guardian ad Litem staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association and the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program in Miami. She has experience advocating for foster children, settling dependency cases, training pro bono attorneys and litigating bench trials.
York is a co-recipient of the Foundation’s 2017 Paul Doyle Children’s Advocacy Award along with her Legal Aid Society colleague Bethanie Barber and several pro bono attorneys. She was a member of a legal team that represented a 2-year-old boy who witnessed his father murder his mother. The team worked to prevent the father from using his paternal rights, while in jail, to determine the child’s custody. The case was instrumental in winning passage of the Child’s Best Hope Act, a new law that allows Florida judges to apply the child’s best interest standard in decisions about adoption intervention.
York earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida and her law degree at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. She is a member of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the Orange County Bar Association and the Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers.