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- Human rights activist Kerry Kennedy Cuomo keynote speaker -

HARRISBURG (May 1, 2002) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Women in the Profession today presented Philadelphia lawyer Lila G. Roomberg with the Anne X. Alpern Award and the Philadelphia law firm of Willig, Williams and Davidson with the first Award for the Promotion of Women to Leadership Positions during its annual luncheon in Hershey. The luncheon also featured human rights activist Kerry Kennedy Cuomo as the keynote speaker.

Lila G. Roomberg, a lawyer with the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, was presented with the annual Anne X. Alpern Award. This award is given 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. The award, established in 1994, was named for Anne X. Alpern, Pennsylvania’s attorney general in 1959 who was the first woman state attorney general in the nation.

An active member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar associations, Roomberg serves on the PBA Women in the Profession Executive Council and as the group’s newsletter and networking directory editor. She was the founder of the Philadelphia Bar Association Child Care Services Committee and co-authored the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar associations’ positions on alternative work arrangements. Currently, Roomberg is a member of the Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts Advisory Board. Roomberg is a graduate of Washington Square College and the School of Law of the New York University.

The Philadelphia law firm of Willig, Williams and Davidson was the recipient of the first “Award for the Promotion of Women to Leadership Positions.” Chosen from among Pennsylvania’s 100 largest firms, Willig, Williams and Davidson was honored for its outstanding efforts to promote its women lawyers to leadership positions within the firm. Willig, Williams and Davidson is a mid-sized firm of 34 lawyers, with offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and New Jersey. Of the 34 lawyers total, 15 are women and 19 are men.

There are three name partners: two women, Deborah Willig and Alaine Williams, and one man, Stewart Davidson. There are 15 partners in the firm, nine women and six men. Of the eight equity partners, five are women. One of the women equity partners works part time, as she did for most of her time as an associate at the firm. Two of the other women equity partners worked part-time during some of their time as associates. At Willig, Williams and Davidson, working part-time as an associate does not extend the time period necessary to achieve partnership or equity partnership.

The firm has a parenting policy, which has been used by a number of women and two men. There are seven non-equity partners, four women and three men. Of the 20 associates, there are six women and 12 men. Two of the women associates work part-time, while one male lawyer in New Jersey is of counsel.

Following the awards presentations, keynote speaker Kerry Kennedy Cuomo addressed the attendees. The daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, Kennedy Cuomo started working in the field of human rights in 1981. Since then, her life has been devoted to the vindication of equal justice, the promotion and protection of basic rights and the preservation of the rule of law. She has led more than 40 human rights delegations to over 30 countries. She also is the author of Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World. Kennedy Cuomo established the RFK Center for Human Rights to ensure the protection of rights codified under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. She is chair of the Amnesty International Leadership Council and serves on the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, a non-profit organization that addresses the problems of social justice in the spirit of her late father.