Sponsored by the Mendon Democratic Committee
The Paul D. MacAulay Memorial Scholarship for Social Justice was established in 2018 memory of Mr. MacAulay who, as a public defender and a private attorney, dedicated his career to ensuring that justice does not depend on one’s ability to pay for it. Paul was a highly respected member of the Monroe County legal community whose life and practice reflected his firm belief that justice belonged to us all. The scholarship is offered by the Paul D. MacAulay Scholarship Association which was established by the Mendon Democratic Committee to honor Paul, a long-time Committee member. The $500 scholarship will be awarded to a student of notable character whose winning essay demonstrates a commitment to the values embodied in Paul’s work: “Justice for All.”
Criteria: Senior who believes in social justice and progressive values and who has demonstrated good citizenship and leadership.
Recipients of Scholarship to Date:
Paul D. MacAulay
We were deeply saddened by the sudden death of Mendon Democratic Committee member, Paul MacAulay, in December, 2016. Paul was a caring man of conviction who strove to be a thoughtful and open-minded person. In his honor, the editorial board of the Democrat and Chronicle wrote the following piece entitled, “A true believer in justice for all.” Please take a moment to read it. Paul’s obituary is posted beneath as well. Donations to the scholarship fund in Paul’s name can be made to the Paul D. MacAulay Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 186, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472.
a true believer in justice for all
Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Board
How many times have we recited these four words at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance without giving much thought to what they mean? But, fortunately, there are people among us for whom this phrase is a guiding force. Paul D. MacAulay was one of them.
You might not recognize his name, for he was rarely, if ever, in the headlines. He did not want to be, according to several people who knew him. That wasn’t his style. But, MacAulay, who died unexpectedly last week at the age of 69, was a local criminal defense lawyer who quietly spent decades representing — as stated in his obituary — “the most powerless and downtrodden in our community.” As a public defender and a private attorney, MacAulay dedicated much of his career to making sure that justice did not depend on one’s own ability to pay for it. Over the years, MacAulay not only represented many poor defendants himself, he also volunteered in a variety of capacities to focus on improving equality in our criminal justice system — one of Unite Rochester’s leading objectives.
In 2015, Monroe County and the Monroe County Bar Association’s Assigned Counsel Program handled nearly 3,600 homicide, felony and misdemeanor cases involving indigent clients in courts throughout the county. The defendants were charged with the full gamut of offenses: arson, assault, burglary, drug and weapon possession, DWI, gang assaults, robbery, prostitution, stalking, grand larceny, murder. The one thing every single defendant had in common, however, was the guarantee of counsel, deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court as essential to a fair trial. These cases are often very difficult to defend. The circumstances, to be frank, sometimes lead to high emotions and conflict between attorneys, clients and their family members. Some of the crimes they are accused of committing are horrendous. Long hours preparing for court can be met with little or no gratitude. But a number of close colleagues told our Editorial Board that they never saw MacAulay lose his cool, his patience, or his unwavering belief that everyone is entitled to qualified legal representation. He was the first to raise his hand for the tough cases. He was a role model for young attorneys in the public defenders office and beyond. It is fitting that those wishing to honor his memory are being directed by MacAulay’s family to donate to Campaign for Justice, care of the Volunteer Legal Services Project, another initiative striving to provide high quality legal services to poor people in Monroe County. We can all recite the words, “justice for all.” MacAulay brought those words to life.
Paul D. MacAulay
Mendon: December 6, 2016, at age 69, suddenly. Survived by his wife, Jill M. Cicero, and his daughter, Claire MacAulay. Also survived by his sister, Margot MacAulay (Michael Walker); his brother, John MacAulay (Mary Ann); mother-in-law, Isabel Cicero; sisters-in-law, Anne-Marie Allen, Kimberly Austen, Catherine Cicero (William Heinrich) and brothers-in-law, Thomas Cicero (Terri), Paul Cicero, Richard Cicero (Kelly), Robert Cicero (Eugenia) and Jay Cicero (Maureen Mitchell), as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Paul was born in Nova Scotia, lived in Iowa as a small child and moved to Rochester at the age of 9. He remained a city boy at heart for his entire life, although he loved his home and neighbors in the hamlet of Mendon, where he lived from 1992 until his death. He attended Aquinas Institute, St. John Fisher College and the University of Miami Law School. Paul practiced criminal defense law for over forty years, representing the most powerless and downtrodden in our community, and using all his considerable legal skills and passion to preserve their rights and assure they were treated fairly and with dignity. He also gave generously of his time and talent to many local organizations, including serving as Board Chair for the Mendon Public Library, President of the Board for Pre-Trial Services Corporation and multiple terms as Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the Monroe County Bar Association.
Contributions in Paul’s memory may be made to the Paul D. MacAulay Memorial Scholarship, c/o Mendon Democratic Committee, P.O. Box 186, Honeoye Falls NY, 14472, Campaign for Justice, c/o Volunteer Legal Services Project, 1 West Main St., 5th Floor, Rochester, NY, 14614, or Mendon Public Library, 22 N Main St, Honeoye Falls, NY, 14472