Edith Benson, Esquire
Edith Benson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and the Bronx, New York. Initially, she had aspirations of becoming a medical doctor. However, her path took a significant turn when she discovered the influential work of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who served as the NAACP's lead counsel during the Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by Marshall's impact, she decided to pursue a career in law with the intention of making a positive difference in the lives of others.
In 1974, Edith earned her degree from Case Western Reserve University, marking the beginning of her extensive legal journey centered on helping those in need. Throughout her career, she assumed various notable roles, including being the founding Executive Director of the Legal Aid Telephone Intake Service in Columbia, South Carolina, and later, the Executive Director of the Delaware County Legal Assistance Association in Chester, Pennsylvania. She has served as a staff attorney and Litigation Director at Northwestern Legal Services, a member program of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. Additionally, she worked as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and held the position of Office Manager for the late Louis Stokes, a prominent politician, attorney, and civil rights advocate.
During her time at Northwestern Legal Services, Edith worked closely with several individuals who played a crucial role in the establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program, with the goal of promoting diversity among attorneys within the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network and strengthening the Network's capacity to effectively serve its client community. In recognition of her contributions, Edith was honored with a PLAN Excellence Award.
Now retired from her legal career, Edith remains steadfast in her commitment to serving those in need. She is a member of Peter's Cathedral in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she serves as a Eucharistic minister and lends her support to meaningful programs such as the Day of Caring and the Bishop's Breakfast. In addition, she serves on the board of St. Patrick's Haven, an organization dedicated to supporting homeless men in Erie.