HARRISBURG (May 2, 2013) - Mary R. Bates, chief legal officer of the Washington City Mission, will receive the Louis J. Goffman Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation for outstanding pro bono support and service.
The award, named for a late Pennsylvania Bar Association president, will be presented May 8 during the Pennsylvania Bar Association Annual Meeting awards luncheon at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, Pittsburgh.
The Washington City Mission, a non-denominational, Christian, social services organization, provides shelters for men and women, offers long-term restorative programs for residents and operates five thrift stores. Bates founded The Legal Clinic ("TLC") to provide legal assistance to the mission's residents. Bates and a group of part-time volunteers advocate for shelter residents and work with state and local law enforcement, state and local officials, judges, lawyers, law school and legal aid organizations to expand the safety net for the homeless, poor and needy. The clinic serves more than 90 homeless individuals each year.
Bates is a chair of the Washington County Bar Association Pro Bono and Lawyer Referral Service Committee. She organized a panel of pro bono lawyers for the mission's homeless veterans and hosted a Pro Bono Law Day at the mission. Bates also presented a continuing legal education program for lawyers that spotlighted the call for pro bono service in the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, and she recently spearheaded the inaugural Washington County Bar Association Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award.
Bates is a chapter leader of the Christian Legal Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Bates previously served as treasurer and vice chair of the Washington City Mission's Board of Directors.
A Pittsburgh native, Bates earned an undergraduate degree from Duquesne University, a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a juris doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law.
The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, improves the public's understanding of the law and its appreciation of democracy and strives to ensure that citizens, particularly Pennsylvania's most vulnerable, have full access to our legal system. The foundation accomplishes its mission by making grants, seeking financial support from individuals and organizations both within and outside of the legal community, and encouraging bar members to donate their time, talent and expertise in service to the public.