Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Presents 2024 Excellence Awards

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. hosted a celebration honoring the recipients of the 2024 Excellence Awards on March 27, 2024 at the Hilton Harrisburg.

Lt. Governor Austin A. DavisThe celebration, emceed by former PLAN Executive Director Sam Milkes, featured a cocktail reception, with featured remarks by the event's Keynote Speaker, Lt. Governor Austin A. Davis, and the presentation of awards to the 2024 recipients of the Excellence Awards.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is to ensure equal access to justice so that low-income Pennsylvanians can have legal representation when facing important civil legal issues affecting their safety, health, shelter and survival.

The PLAN Excellence Awards are presented each year to legal aid staff and other individuals, groups, and organizations that have demonstrated  excellence and diligence in improving the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.

Those recognized this year for their work, which had a profound impact on countless individuals and families, include:

Outstanding Attorney Advocate Award

This award recognizes exceptional advocacy, leadership, and dedication of attorneys within the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.

Donna Alllen-Rosemond, Esq.

Donna Allen-Rosemond
Senior Staff Attorney
Neighborhood Legal Services


Erica N. Briant, Esq. 
Director of Community Engagement 
and Training
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Outstanding Community Advocacy Award

This award celebrates clients, community leaders, legislators, and non-attorney volunteers who amplify the mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.

 Jane A. Downing

Jane A. Downing 
Former Senior Program Officer, Economic and Community Development
The Pittsburgh Foundation


Outstanding Non-Attorney Advocate Award

This award recognizes the indispensable contributions of non-attorney staff in the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, who through their roles, have left indelible marks on their community with steadfast advocacy and an enduring spirit of service.

Janice Meinert, MSW

Janice L. Meinert, MSW 
Pennsylvania Health Law Project

 Gi8gi Nikpour

Gigi Nikpour 
Employment Unit Paralegal
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Outstanding Pro Bono Advocacy Award

This award pays tribute to private bar associations, attorneys, law firms, and judges who have ensured access to justice for Pennsylvania's underserved communities through the provision of pro bono services or by increasing funding for civil legal aid.

 Winebrake & Santillo

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC
Philadelphia-based law firm specializing in employment law.


Click here to learn more about the award recipients. Video tributes to each of the award recipients were shown during the award presentations. Those tributes can be viewed below. Individual videos can be selected for viewing by clicking the upper right corner for the list of recipient video tributes:


Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. and all of the regional and specialty legal aid programs in the network congratulate the recipients of the Excellence Award for their past and ongoing efforts to help individuals and families across Pennsylvania who have no where else to turn when faced with a legal crisis.


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2024_Excellence_Award_Program.pdf 12.75 MB

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