Anne Ruffer, a trusts and estates attorney and partner at Mackenzie Hughes LLP, was elected as the president of the Board of Directors at the Onondaga County Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Onondaga County Bar Association.
As president of the Foundation’s board, Ruffer will work with board members to support programs that educate the community about legal issues and events which sustain the foundation’s mission to improve and promote: the administration of justice, equal access to the legal system for all, legal research and education, and professional ethics. Part of her role will be to promote the mission of the organization, work in supporting the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project Fund and the Lawyer’s Assistance Program, as well as considering requests for grants from the community consistent with the mission of the Foundation.
Not a stranger to philanthropic work in the community, Ruffer serves as a trustee and the chair of the Major Gifts Committee of the Vera House Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. Ruffer volunteers at Vera House’s Monday Night Legal Clinic where she provides advice to people dealing with domestic violence and unhealthy relationships. Additionally, Ruffer is co-chair of the Onondaga County Surrogate’s Court, and organizes the free legal clinic offered at the Elder Law Fair in Onondaga County which provides free seminars on legal issues of interest to older adults and their families including estate planning, Medicaid, and financial abuse.
In 2005, Ruffer was the recipient of the Onondaga County Bar Association’s Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award. She received the award for her work representing a Syracuse woman suffering from a rare skin disease and then winning a landmark case against Medicaid. The pro bono case ensured that the young woman receive the special bandages she needed and set a precedent prohibiting Medicaid’s reliance on a pre-set list to cap reimbursement costs to medical supplies.
In 2006, the New York State Bar Association awarded Ruffer the President’s Pro Bono Service Award in recognition of her pro bono service. A resident of DeWitt, Anne Ruffer’s practice at Mackenzie Hughes focuses on estate and trust administration, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, guardianships, elder law and long-term care planning. Ruffer graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1983, and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1980.