Philadelphia VIP Hosts 2015 Awards Night

Philadelphia VIP - Since 1981. The hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia.Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia, hosted its signature volunteer appreciation event on March 16 at the Suzanne Roberts Theater to honor volunteer attorneys who provided pro bono services to low-income Philadelphians in 2014.

Nearly 1,000 volunteer attorneys said yes to VIP clients in need of high-quality legal representation last year. These attorneys worked with VIP’s professional staff to assist more than 2,800 individuals and families with critical legal needs in 1,449 civil cases. Thanks to these volunteer efforts, VIP served more clients, recruited more volunteers and raised more money in 2014 than in the past three years.

VIP Executive Director Sara Woods shared these numbers with an audience of more than 170 guests including members of the judiciary, attorneys, law students, and legal administrators. Matthew Gutt of the Exelon Business Services Company Legal Department provided the Sponsor perspective.

The evening began with the presentation of the individual volunteer awards. VIP Board Member Dylan Steinberg presented the Outstanding New Volunteer Award to MK Feeney, Esq. of the Law Office of MK Feeney. VIP Board Member Megan Watson presented Leslie Love Engle, Esq. with VIP’s Outstanding Veteran Volunteer Award. NextGen Reporting was awarded VIP’s Juris Award, presented by VIP Board Member Steve Foxman.

Ms. Dawn Smith and Ms. Sarah Jones. Photo Credit: Rusty Kennedy.The Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper then introduced Dawn Smith (name changed to protect her privacy), a VIP client, and her volunteer attorney Sarah Jones, an associate at the Law Offices of Gregory J. Pagano. Sarah, a first-time VIP volunteer, helped Donna gain custody of her three young children, one of whom has Asperger’s Syndrome. Shown, Left to right is Ms. Dawn Smith and Ms. Sarah Jones. Photo Credit: Rusty Kennedy.

Members of the Philadelphia VIP Board of Directors then presented the 2014 Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Awards to the following winners:

  • Berner Klaw & Watson LLP (Small Firm)
  • Willig, Williams & Davidson (Medium Firm)
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Large Firm)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (Corporation)
  • Donald Parman, Esq. (Solo Practitioner)

VIP Executive Director Sara Woods took the stage again to present the Amicus Award to longtime VIP supporter and friend, photographer Rusty Kennedy. Board President Carmen Romano delivered closing remarks and a reception immediately followed.

Philadelphia VIP succeeds only because of the dedication of time and talent of thousands of attorneys and volunteers from the greater Philadelphia area. To find out how you can support Philadelphia VIP’s work, contact them today at 215-523-9550.

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