Philadelphia Lawyer Kathleen D. Wilkinson to be Honored by Pennsylvania Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession

HARRISBURG (April 30, 2008) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession will present the Anne X. Alpern Award to Kathleen D. Wilkinson, partner at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman and Dicker L.L.P. in Philadelphia, during its 15th annual conference, June 5, at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, Pa.

The annual award is presented to a female lawyer or judge who demonstrates excellence in the legal profession and who makes a significant professional impact on women in the law. Established in 1994, the award was named for Anne X. Alpern, Pennsylvania's attorney general in 1959 and the first woman state attorney general in the nation.

The award will be presented at a noon luncheon, which will feature keynote speaker Geraldine Ferraro. Ferraro earned a place in history as the first woman vice-presidential candidate on a national party ticket. She was first elected to Congress from New York's Ninth Congressional District in Queens in 1978 and served three terms in the House of Representatives. She currently is a principle in the government relations practice of Blank Rome.

Wilkinson was nominated for the Alpern Award by several leaders of the Commission for Women in the Profession, including Phyllis Horn Epstein, committee co-chair, Shelley Goldner, committee co-vice chair, Renee F. Bergmann, committee treasurer, as well as Penina Kessler Lieber, at-large woman governor to the PBA Board of Governors.

In their nomination of Wilkinson, the group wrote, "Kathleen's commitment to the advancement of women in the legal profession has been exemplary. She always makes time to consult, encourage and inspire. Kathleen informally mentors women lawyers every day by helping them to network, engaging them in bar activities, encouraging them to obtain leadership roles that enhance their visibility and skills and setting an outstanding example as a role model through her own activities and conduct."

Active with the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Wilkinson was co-chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession from 2004 to 2006 and developed a statewide leadership program for women attorneys. She is a current member of the Long Range Planning Committee and is a voting member of the House of Delegates, the legislative body of the association. In addition, Wilkinson is a member of the Civil Litigation Section, Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee and Quality of Life Task Force. She was a member of the Advisory Committee on Implementation of Supreme Court Roles on Gender and Racial Bias. She also has provided planning expertise to a variety of PBA meetings and events.

Her commitment to the organized bar includes ongoing support to the Philadelphia Bar Association. She is the current secretary on the association's cabinet, is co-chair of the State Civil Litigation Section and serves on the Judicial Selection Committee. She previously served as co-chair for the Raising the Bar Campaign, the State Civil Committee and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legal Writing Competition. She also has served on the Nominating Committee and has held a variety of leadership and planning roles for the Women in the Profession Committee

Since 2005, Wilkinson has served on the Interbranch Commission on Racial, Gender and Ethnic Fairness, which is charged with implementing recommendations to the three branches of government that will eliminate racial, gender and ethnic bias. Since 2006, she has served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Committee.

Wilkinson is the current president of the Cottagers Association of Cape May and former president of the Ard-Wood Civic Association and the Haverford Civic Association.

Wilkinson is a graduate of Kean University and Villanova University School of Law. She was selected to be a founding member of the law school's J. Willard O'Brien Inn of Court, a member of the American Inns of Court, and became the group's first woman president in 2004.

Wilkinson handles complex cases for clients, which include a major brokerage firm, construction companies and product manufacturers. She also is a technical writer for self-insured municipalities and school districts.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.

Editor's note: A photo of Wilkinson is posted at http://www.pabar.org/images/wilkinson_kathleen_W.jpg.