Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards

Champions of Justice: Introducing the Winners of the 2024 Excellence Awards 

Excellence Awards logoAt the heart of our mission lies a powerful unity that is driven by the unwavering commitment of advocates within our Network, the steadfast support of our private bar partners, and the collaborative spirit of community leaders. Together, they break through the conventional bounds of legal assistance, guiding the way toward justice and equity for marginalized and low-income Pennsylvanians. Each year, our Excellence Awards pay tribute to the extraordinary impact of this work. 

Meet the 2024 Excellence Awards Winners 

We are thrilled to announce the distinguished winners of the 2024 Excellence Awards. Their remarkable contributions have made a profound impact on countless individuals and families, embodying the true spirit of justice and service.

Outstanding Attorney Advocate Award

Donna Allen-Rosemond, Esq. 
Senior Staff Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services

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

This award recognizes exceptional advocacy, leadership, and dedication of attorneys within our Network. Recipients of this award exemplify the pinnacle of commitment and compassion in the equal justice community. Their exceptional advocacy, leadership, and dedication have significantly contributed to advancing justice and equity.

Outstanding Non-Attorney Advocate Award

Janice L. Meinert, MSW 
Paralegal, Pennsylvania Health Law Project

Gigi Nikpour 
Employment Unit Paralegal, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

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

Outstanding Pro Bono Advocacy Award

Winebrake & Santillo, LLC

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.

Outstanding Community Advocacy Award

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

This award celebrates clients, community leaders, legislators, and non-attorney volunteers who amplify our mission. Their advocacy and empowerment efforts stand as a testament to the profound impact community figures make daily. 

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the 2024 Excellence Awards and look forward to honoring them at this year’s event on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 5:00 PM, at the Hilton Harrisburg. The keynote speaker for the event will be Lt. Governor Austin A. Davis

For more information about attending this year's Excellence Awards celebration, visit the PLAN event page. We also invite you to check out highlights from last year’s 50th Anniversary Excellence Awards & Golden Gala Celebration or browse a list of prior award recipients, including recipients of the former Striving Towards Excellence Awards. 

2024 Excellence Award - March 27, 2024

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