HARRISBURG (June 4, 2007) - Philadelphia lawyers Sharon Browning and D. Alicia Hickok and the legal department of Exelon Corporation will receive Louis J. Goffman Awards for outstanding pro bono work from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation (PBF), the charitable arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA).
Goffman Awards, named for a late PBA president, are given annually to individuals and to groups or organizations for outstanding pro bono work. The 2007 awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 20, during the PBA Annual Meeting held at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel.
"Every day, hundreds of Pennsylvania lawyers and legal professionals are generously providing free and reduced-cost services to low-income individuals and families," said Karen M. Balaban, PBF president. "Our Goffman Awards recognize the 'best of the best' of these caring individuals and companies for ensuring equal access to justice, regardless of ability to pay."
Browning served for five years as the executive director of Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program. She is credited with restoring credibility and legal community support for the organization. She strengthened relationships with the private bar and in-house corporate counsel, increased funding and volunteer resources and expanded programs. During her tenure, the organization formed Philadelphia LawWorks, a community economic development project that provides legal services to small businesses and non-profit organizations in the city.
Hickok, an associate at Drinker Biddle & Reath L.L.P., has devoted more than 450 hours during each of the last four years to pro bono service. She has provided counsel in a Georgia death penalty case and prepared amicus and appeal briefs in U.S. Supreme Court, Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Arizona Supreme Court on public interest issues. Hickok helped her firm develop its pro bono policy and recruited volunteers for matters presented to the firm by local public interest organizations. She also has taught and mentored law students assisting pro bono clients.
Exelon has a pro bono/community service policy encouraging all of its legal department employees to participate in pro bono and company-sponsored community and charitable activities. During 2006, 49 legal professionals collectively devoted more than 600 hours to pro bono work and more than 700 hours to company-related community service. Staff members also provided many hours of service work for non-company sponsored projects. Lawyers are devoting significant time to provide legal counsel to the Child Advocate Support Center of Philadelphia, Philadelphia's Homeless Advocacy Project, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and The Nature Conservancy, among others.