About the Excellence Awards
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards honor members and friends of the legal aid community who exemplify excellence in their commitment and accomplishments as advocates for low-income people.
Nominations are made in the following categories:
Legal Services Staff
This category is for all staff positions. We are seeking nominations for employees who exhibit excellence and commitment in the performance of the duties of their jobs;
This category is for members of the private bar who display an outstanding commitment to legal aid and the legal needs of low-income Pennsylvanians;
This category is for client leaders, organizational partners, or others who have donated significant time and energy to the mission of legal aid and the needs of low-income people.
This category is for volunteers and friends who demonstrate exceptional dedication to legal aid. It may include legislators or government officials, clients, community leaders, or others who help promote the mission of legal aid.
Nominations are open to everyone. You do not have to be a member of the legal aid community to submit a nomination. You also do not have to be a member of a particular category to submit a nomination in that category. There is no limit to the number of nominations you may submit.
Nominations usually open in the last quarter of each calendar year for the awards to be made in the spring of the following year.
Specific information on nominations and a submission form will be posted here when nomination open for next year's awards.
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Honors Recipients of 2013 Excellence Awards
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) honored the ten recipients of the 2013 Excellence Awards at its annual awards banquet on Wednesday evening, March 20, 2013 at the Harrisburg Hilton.
Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Yvette R. Long, a disability and welfare rights advocate with the Pennsylvania Welfare Rights organization were also with the Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services Awards at the event. Chief Justice Castille also served as the keynote speaker for the event. The Text of the Chief Justice's remarks are available below.
Outstanding Leadership in
Support of Legal Services Awards
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. is a client-centered organization that provides leadership, funding, and support to improve the availability and quality of civil legal aid and direct legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network consists of fourteen civil legal aid programs helping those who have nowhere else to turn when facing a critical civil legal problem by providing a full range of civil legal services.
“The work of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) is honorable and vitally important as more of our residents require civil legal assistance in resolving critical problems involving such basic needs as shelter, healthcare, income and personal safety,” said Samuel W. Milkes, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. “The annual awards banquet provides the opportunity to applaud these individuals, who everyday give those who have nowhere else to turn, equal access to justice.”
The Excellence Awards recognize legal aid attorneys, paralegals, support staff and friends of civil legal aid who support the clients served by the civil legal programs that comprise the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. PLAN solicited nominations from across the Commonwealth and based its selection on a variety of criteria that demonstrated excellence and diligence in helping improve the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.
2013 Excellence Awards - Tribute Videos
The following individuals were selected to receive the 2013 Excellence Awards:
- Judy Berkman, Esq.
Managing Attorney for Regional Housing Legal Services in Glenside, PA.
- Cary L. Flitter, Esq.
Founding partner of the Montgomery County law firm Flitter Lorenz, P.C. and a leading consumer protection lawyer.
- Elizabeth C. Goodell, Esq. and Kerry Smith, Esq.
Ms. Goodell manages Community Legal Services’ Homeownership and Consumer Unit and Kerry Smith is a Community Legal Services attorney in the unit.
- Kathryn M. Kenyon, Esq.
Attorney and partner with the law firm of Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick and Raspanti, LLP in Pittsburgh.
- The Lycoming Law Association and the Lycoming Law Foundation
The Lycoming Law Association is the professional organization composed of attorneys in Lycoming County. The Lycoming Law Association Foundation is the charitable arm of the Association.
- Sol María Rivera
Paralegal with Friends of Farmworkers, Inc.
- David Keller Trevaskis, Esq.
Pro Bono Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
- Debra Wiley
Legal Secretary in the Bedford office of MidPenn Legal Services.
“The mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is to ensure equal access to justice so that Pennsylvanians can have representation, when facing important civil legal concerns, affecting their safety, health, shelter and survival," offered Christine Kirby, Director of Statewide Support for the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
“Our Excellence Award recipients epitomize the tireless efforts of legal aid advocates and friends in the private bar who work to deliver on the promise of justice for all.” Kirby continued, “Tonight, we are especially pleased to honor Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille for his leadership and unwavering support of equal access to justice and Yvette Long for her outstanding leadership in support of civil legal aid.”