Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Presents 2018 Excellence Awards

PLAN Excellence AwardAfter severe weather forced the postponement of the 2018 Excellence Awards in March, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. finally honored the recipients of the 2018 PLAN Excellence Award during the rescheduled Award Banquet on June 6, 2018.

Also honored were the recipients of this year's Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services Award, The Honorable Dick Thornburgh, The Honorable Stewart J. Greenleaf, and The Honorable Ronald S. Marsico.

The Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services Award is presented to recognize the efforts of individuals to support and promote the mission of legal aid which 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. 

Tribute videos were presented during the award ceremony outlining the efforts and ongoing support of this mission by the Outstanding Leadership Award recipients. The tribute videos can be viewed below:


The PLAN 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. Nominations are solicited from across Pennsylvania for the awards which are made based 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. 

Recipients of the 2018 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award include:

  • Rachel Blake, Esq. 
    Associate Director
    Regional Housing Legal Services
    Glenside, PA
  • Patrick M. Cicero, Esq.
    Executive Director
    Pennsylvania Utility Law Project
    Harrisburg, PA
  • Suzanne Z. Moschini
    North Penn Legal Services
    Bethlehem, PA
  • Antoinette C. Oliver, Esq.
    Chair, Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership
    Partner, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Mary Coyne Pugh, Esq.
    Executive Director
    Montgomery Child Advocacy Project
    Norristown, PA
  • Randi Riefner
    Legal Assistant
    Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
    Bristol, PA
  • Beth Shapiro, Esq.
    Senior Attorney
    Community Legal Services
    Philadelphia, PA
  • The Honorable John Thomas
    United States Bankruptcy Judge and
    The Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association Pro Bono Program
    United States Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
    Wilkes-Barre, PA

The award ceremony also featured a video tribute of each Excellence Award recipient highlighting their accomplishments. Those videos can be viewed in the playlist below. Individual videos may be selected from the menu accessed in the upper left of the player:


Special Recognition was made during the awards presentation to Susan J. Lucas, Compliance Consultant to the PLAN Network. The recognition was for her work in leading the transition to a new statewide case management system over the last two years. This included the customization and  implementation of the system, as well as data migration from the old system and staff training in the use of the new system. 

About the 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award Recipients

About the 2018 Excellence Award Recipients


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