Nichole M. Ehrheart, an assistant district attorney with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh, Pa. was selected to receive the 2019 Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship, a $5,400 annual award presented to a law school student or young lawyer pursuing an interest in animal welfare as part of his/her daily activities, legal training or law practice.
The scholarship namesake’s brother,
Alan Scheimer, presents the grant
to Ms. Ehrheart in Pittsburgh on
Aug. 22, 2019.
Named after Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik, a talented lawyer and passionate animal advocate, the scholarship was created by Bednarik’s husband Joseph with help from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. Bednarik was the founder and first chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Animal Law Committee, and the course planner for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s first Animal Law Conference in 2004. She taught the first Animal Law course offered by Penn State Dickinson Law and served as a member of the Dog Law Advisory Board that worked to pass stricter laws for Pennsylvania’s notorious puppy mills. On weekends, Bednarik and her husband regularly transported homeless dogs to no-kill shelters and foster and forever homes, and when Hurricane Katrina struck, they traveled to Louisiana to help rescue dogs abandoned by the storm in New Orleans.
An animal welfare advocate for many years, Ehrheart was also selected as a 2015 recipient of this scholarship while she was attending Duquesne University School of Law. Today, she continues her passion for advocacy in her legal career as a member of the District Attorney’s Office’s Animal Cruelty Unit, where she conducts jury and nonjury trials for felony and misdemeanor criminal animal cruelty offenses, evaluates cases and prepares criminal information. Ehrheart plans to directly use the awarded scholarship money for her law school student loans.
At the District Attorney’s Office, Ehrheart’s love for her job is evident in her dedication to her work. She is admired by her peers for the diligence and care she extends to each case, as well as her commitment to protecting and effectuating justice to some of society’s most vulnerable populations, including animals.
Outside of the legal profession, Ehrheart volunteers with the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network by assisting with the rehoming of animals.
The Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship is administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, as part of its Advised Fund enabling donor advisement on charitable distributions. For more information, visit www.pabarfoundation.org.