Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Honors 2019 Excellence Award Recipients
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. recognized the recipients of the 2019 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards during the annual Awards Celebration on March 26, 2019.
The featured speaker at the event was James J. Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is to ensure equal access to justice so that Pennsylvanians can have legal representation when facing important civil legal concerns affecting their safety, health, shelter and survival.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards are presented each year to individuals, groups, and/or organizations that have established excellence and diligence improving the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.
The list of award recipients includes a variety of civil legal aid professionals and friends of civil legal aid across Pennsylvania who were recognized for their efforts in support of the clients served by the civil legal programs of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
A video tribute was shown highlighting the accomplishments of each of the 2019 recipients of the award. Those video tributes may be viewed below:
The 2019 Excellence Award recipients are:
- Rachel Garland, Esq., Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
- Natalia Gomez and Benita Mejia, Community Justice Project
- Betty Green, Philadelphia Legal Assistance
- George Gvozdich, Esq., and E. Marie Queen, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program
- G. Clayton Nestler, Esq., Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services
- Nancy R. Paul and Nancy O. Walsh, Montgomery Bar Association
- Stella Smetanka, Esq., Pro Bono counsel at Neighborhood Legal Services
- Michelle Terry, Esq., Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
In addition, PLAN presented the Outstanding Leadership in Legal Services Award to the group who championed the Clean Slate Legislative Initiative. The following individuals were recognized as part of this single group award:
- Gene Barr
- Representative Sheryl M. Delozier
- Sharon M. Dietrich
- Jamie Gullen
- Holly Harris
- Representative Jordan A. Harris
- Mark Holden
- Michael Hollander
- Malcolm Jenkins
- Ronald Lewis
- Chris Long
- Seth P. Lyons
- Beth Anne Mumford
- Greg Rowe
- Torrey Smith
- Rebecca Vallas
- Senator Scott Wagner
- Senator Anthony H. Williams
The Clean Slate Legislation provides for automatic sealing of arrests ending without convictions immediately, summary offense convictions after 10 years, and some misdemeanor convictions after 10 years. It also expands Pennsylvania’s sealing law to include some first-degree misdemeanors.
It is an extremely important bill for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians with old and minor criminal convictions or who were arrested but not convicted. Sealing a criminal case is a life-changing remedy for those who qualify, opening doors to employment, housing and education.
We invite you to follow the link below to learn more about the 2019 Excellence Award winners.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network congratulates each of the award recipients and is proud to celebrate their examples of excellence in the pursuit of Access to Justice for all citizens.