Mission and Formation
Lawyer's Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP) was created in 1994 as a not for profit Foundation to further, promote and expand upon existing community service of lawyers in Greater Kansas City with a specific focus upon initiatives intended to encourage young persons in their pursuit of an education.
LEAP is a unique, joint professional effort comprised of the Asian American Bar Association; the Association of Corporate Counsel, Mid-America Chapter; the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City; the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association; the Hispanic Bar Association; the Jackson County Bar Association; the KC LEGAL Bar Association; the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association; the Lawyers Association of Kansas City; the Young Lawyers Section of the KCMBA, and the Young Lawyers Section of the Lawyers Association.
LEAP has been honored by the American Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Associations, and in 1997 received the ABA National Civic Literacy Award. In presenting LEAP with the award, the ABA emphasized the cooperative nature of this educational consortium of lawyers. The National Civic Literacy Award recognizes “conspicuous, sustained effort by a law firm or public law office to contribute to the advancement of literacy at a local, state or national level.”
Through LEAP the lawyers of Kansas City have raised over $1 Million for the educational benefit of disadvantaged children. LEAP’s designated beneficiary is Operation Breakthrough. Founded in 1971, Operation Breakthrough’s mission is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment. The center also strives to support and empower the children’s families through advocacy, referral services, and emergency aid.
Operation Breakthrough has utilized LEAP donations to fund a state of the art computer lab, well informed school counselors and before and after school enrichment programs. Each year, LEAP’s fundraising efforts culminate at its Mardi Gras Luncheon which will be held this year on February 9, 2016. To make a donation to LEAP for the benefit of Operation Breakthrough simply mail your check payable to LEAP, c/o Mark Parrish, Treasurer, 221 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 200, Independence, MO 64050 or click here. Reservations for the 2016 LEAP Mardi Gras Luncheon can be made after December 1, 2015, by going to the Events Tab or by looking for the LEAP Mardi Gras link at www.kcmba.org. LEAP has also benefited Operation Breakthrough by asking lawyers of Greater Kansas City to volunteer as Mentors and Study Buddies. To volunteer as a LEAP Mentor or Study Buddy contact Tasha Miller, Volunteer Services Coordinator at Operation Breakthrough, 816-329-5233 or email@example.com.