Nominations Sought for 2017 PA Bar Association Pro Bono Awards

Pennsylvania Bar Association - Your Other PartnerPennsylvania Bar Association President Sara A. Austin has announced the opening of the nomination period for the Annual Pro Bono Awards of the PBA’s Legal Service to the Public Committee. This year marks the 30th year that the committee has sought individual award nominees.

This year also marks the thirteenth year for both the Judges Award and the Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award, given, respectively, to a judge and a legal services attorney selected by the committee in recognition of exceptional contributions to improving civil legal aid in the commonwealth. The Judges Award is now named the Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille Award in honor of the retired former Chief Justice.

2017 also marks the seventh year for the Pro Bono Partner Award to a non-attorney who supports legal services to the needy.

The award winners will be acknowledged at various pro bono events throughout the 2017 year, whenever possible by President Austin and by PBA President-Elect Sharon Lopez, who plans to promote pro bono service and civil legal aid across the commonwealth by honoring these champions of pro bono during her bar travels.

The awards provide a chance to recognize and thank those who have used their talents to help the needy in each county in Pennsylvania. While the obstacles to equal access to justice continue to mount, the willingness of attorneys to help meet the legal needs of the indigent in their communities is important to those in need of service and bestows honor upon the legal profession. Those nominated provide services that allow the doors of justice to remain open to all citizens.

In considering a nomination, please keep in mind the following criteria:

  • The nominee works in Pennsylvania
  • The nominee, other than the Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year nominees, is not employed by an organization that has as its primary purpose the provision of free legal services to the poor. The Pro Bono Partner nominee may work for such an organization.
  • The nominee has provided direct delivery of legal services or assisted in facilitating the delivery of such service in civil matters, with no expectation of receiving a fee, to a client or client group that does not have the resources to employ compensated counsel or has worked to facilitate such effort by other attorneys.
  • The nominee has made an outstanding contribution to the provision of legal services to the indigent without charge.
  • The nominee has made such contributions primarily through organized pro bono programs, lawyer referral service no-fee panels and legal services programs or has worked with such organizations to improve the delivery of legal services to the poor.
  • The nominee’s efforts have resulted in the increased access to legal services for low-income people.

This year’s nomination form is located on the Pro Bono page of the PBA website at Just click on 2017 Pro Bono Awards Nomination Form link.

The form can be completed electronically, and you will receive instant confirmation that your nomination was submitted. If there are any questions regarding the Pro Bono Awards, please contact Pro Bono Coordinator David Keller Trevaskis (800-932-0311, Ext. 2236; cell: 717-571-7414; email:

The 2017 Pro Bono Awards nominations are due on Friday, December 23, 2016.

Award winners will be honored as a group during the PBA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, May 10-12, 2017. Individual awards will be presented throughout the coming year.

Award Nomination Form

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