HARRISBURG (May 2, 2018) — Sharon R. López, a partner in Lancaster’s Triquetra Law, will become immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) at the end of the PBA Annual Meeting, May 11, in Hershey. She will have completed her term as the 123rd president and the first Latina, the first ex-legal services attorney and the first mother to serve as president in the history of the association that was founded in 1895.
López began working on her presidential goals early on by creating the Membership Enhancement Blue Ribbon Panel on Millennials, Mothers and Minorities in the Profession, an appointed group of PBA members who are identifying new approaches to increase association membership through outreach, marketing and mentorship. The panel issued eight recommendations that will assist the PBA to prepare for a more inclusive and younger changing legal community. The recommendations included practical tips such as holding video conference call meetings and completing immediate assessments or focus groups following events to get immediate feedback. The recommendations also included programmatic suggestions such as steps to remove the barriers and limitations of implicit bias. In addition, there are clearinghouse ideas for connecting with minority affinity bars and collecting the various mentoring programs offered throughout the PBA. The recommendation that is dearest to López is her project, “Back to the Bar,” which provides practical help for mothers in the profession who are looking to take time off from legal work to start or raise a family.
López values transparency and opportunity so she also initiated a new process for selection of the at-large women governor position, which typically was within the sole discretion of the president. López opened the process to applicants and provided them all with questions in advance. She invited other PBA presidential officers to interview the applicants and assist her in making the decision about who would best serve the association in the position for the next three years.
López also established a Good Governance Task Force to create a best practices toolkit for recruitment and selection of the members of the PBA House of Delegates and the Board of Governors. The toolkit will be presented to the House of Delegates at the May 11 meeting.
López is a past co-chair of the PBA Membership Development Committee and a past co-chair of the PBA Civil & Equal Rights Committee. A member of the PBA GLBT Rights, Minority Bar and the Commission on Women in the Profession committees, López served as the first editor of Open Court, the GLBT Committee’s newsletter. She is the first editor of Houston’s Legacy, the Minority Bar Committee’s newsletter. She also serves on the PBA Diversity Team, Federal Practice Committee and Judicial Evaluation Commission. She is a member of the PBA Civil Litigation, Labor & Employment Law, and Solo and Small Firm Practice sections.
López served as president of the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) in 2013-14. In 2007, she was elected as the first minority representative to the CCBL Executive Committee. She is a Life Fellow of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.
López is a member of the Lancaster Bar Association (LBA) and served as the chair of the LBA Diversity Committee. She is a member of the LBA Employment Law Section and served as an elected member of the LBA Judiciary Committee.
She served on the boards of directors of Family Service, Community Hospital of Lancaster, and the YWCA of Lancaster, serving as chair of its Racial Justice Committee. She is a founding board member of the Lancaster AIDS Project, which later merged with SCAAN (South Central AIDS Assistance Network) to form AIDS Community Alliance.
López holds an undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite College and a juris doctorate degree from the Widener University School of Law (now known as Widener Law Commonwealth). The law school honored her in 2014 for her efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession. She also received the Widener University School of Law Alumni Outstanding Service Award in 2008.
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 26,000 lawyers who are members of the association.