2021 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Delaware County Bar Association (DCBA) received a $500 grant to support its Community Outreach Committee Virtual Event Series for the Public, which provides timely legal information to the community impacted by the pandemic. These webinars were advertised through DCBA promotional material, the DCBA Facebook page, though local legislators’ offices and other community groups. In all, 536 members of the public and attorneys have participated in these virtual events. The DCBA will also make these video recordings available on its website for members of the public to view. The DCBA plans to continue to host similar virtual events for the public during 2021. In 2020, they hosted 12 programs.
The Jefferson County Bar Association received a $1,000 grant to provide both financial and attorney assistance to our five local area high schools that participate in the annual High School Mock Trial Competition held by the PBA. Jefferson County Bar annually contributes $500 to each mock trial team. The objective is to encourage continued participation in the mock trial competition but also to encourage teams to expand students’ opportunities for more experience with such competitions to hone their writing, research, critical thinking, public speaking, and persuasion skills.
2020 Birdsall Grant Recipient
The Dauphin County Bar Association received a $1,000 grant to support its We Care About Children Campaign, which focuses on causes that promote access to justice, particularly to those struggling with poverty and family issues. The Campaign has collaborated with MidPenn Legal Services to provide a full-time custody attorney, resolving more than 1,000 cases to-date. This year-round program provides local families who have nowhere else to turn, a way to access the court system for a peaceful and fair resolution in family court.
2019 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Dauphin County Bar Association received a $700 grant to support its We Care About Children Campaign, which focuses on causes that promote access to justice, particularly to those struggling with poverty and family issues. The Campaign has collaborated with MidPenn Legal Services to provide a full-time custody attorney, resolving more than 1,000 cases to-date. This year-round program provides local families who have nowhere else to turn, a way to access the court system for a peaceful and fair resolution in family court.
The Westmoreland Bar Association received a $300 grant to help purchase a new laptop and upgrade wiring to support access to CLE programming.
2018 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Bucks County Bar Association received a $500 Birdsall grant to support the furtherance of its educational mission by offering distance learning as an option for CLE delivery to its membership.
The Bucks County Bar Foundation received a $500 Birdsall grant to support its “Leaning with Lawyers” project. This project allows attorneys to visit fifth graders in economically blighted schools within the county to teach them about the founding of our country, branches of the government and the U.S. Constitution. The children are provided an educational booklet as a reference of these guided discussions. This program seeks to instill a curiosity of civics and a passion for reading.
2017 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Erie County Bar Association received a $1000 Birdsall grant to purchase equipment related to the continuing legal education activities to be housed in the Education Center at its new headquarters building.
2015 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Butler County Bar Association Foundation received a $300 Birdsall grant to support the newly formed foundation’s inaugural event to be held in November on “Small Business Saturday.” The event will provide an opportunity to promote the new foundation that will focus on preserving and enhancing public trust in the legal system and the legal profession by promoting good works that advance the local system of justice and help the county’s children and families. The Birdsall Impact Grant will help offset the costs associated with the event and help the Butler County Bar Association Foundation develop marketing materials and resources to promote their law-related educational initiatives.
2013 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Lebanon County Bar received a $250 Birdsall grant to support the Lebanon Law Exploring Post program, a hands-on law-related educational initiative designed for high school students who are interested in learning more about law careers. In addition to providing insight into legal career options such as judge, attorney, JAG officer and paralegal, the program provides experiences and resources to help young people develop leadership and life skills. The Law Exploring Post used the grant funds to travel to Harrisburg on May 21, 2013 to observe an oral argument in Superior Court and tour the Capitol Building
2012 Birdsall Grant Recipients
The Erie County Bar Association and the Washington County Bar Association will receive financial support for two bar initiatives that will have an immediate impact on how these bar associations serve their members, community and court. Thanks to the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation’s Birdsall Impact Grant Program, each organization will share equally in the annual $1,000 grant.
In Erie, the funding will provide support for the bar association’s mentoring program for newly admitted attorneys. The program pairs the newly admitted lawyers with seasoned practitioners who help the new lawyers develop professional habits and practices that lead to them becoming not only active members of the state and local bar community but also trusted and respected member of the Erie community and its courts.
In Washington, the grant will help to underwrite an educational program for attorneys participation in the bar association’s pro bono and/or modest means lawyer referral programs, two initiatives that provide critical legal assistance to county residents who cannot afford the costs of legal representation. The participating attorneys learn about those areas of law most likely to be received as program referrals such as family and housing issues, and this year, the sessions will be held at the Washington City Mission, the site of a new legal clinic for residents.
2011 Birdsall Grant Recipients
Delaware County Bar Association and York County Bar Foundation – Working to Expand Youth Courts
Youth courts are an alternative to traditional juvenile justice systems. In existence for 30-years, the last decade has seen youth courts become the most replicated juvenile justice program for non-violent offenses. These student-run disciplinary systems now number more than 1200 nationwide and succeed by using positive peer pressure to correct disruptive behavior and break the “school to prison pipeline” phenomenon engendered by zero tolerance policies and punitive school disciplinary systems.
Youth courts can be structured as school-based, community-based or juvenile justice-based programs, and by relying on student resources for operations, they are very cost effective, but youth courts also depend on knowledgeable adult volunteers who work to get the courts established and to train the students in justice principles and court operation.
Both of this year’s Birdsall Impact Grant recipients are working to expand the pool of knowledgeable youth court volunteers.
The Delaware County Bar Association will be using its $500 grant to hold a three-hour training program conducted by the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Geared for lawyers, law students and college students, the session will introduce participants to youth courts and prepare them to go into the Delaware County schools to train on the youth court model.
The York County Bar Foundation will be using its $500 grant to send their youth court alliance coordinator to the Global Youth Justice training program in June 2011. The training is the first step in a two-year project devoted to the development of youth court alliance programs focused on truancy in all ninths grade classes througout the York County School District.
The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Birdsall Impact Grant program helps county bar associations establish or enhance a charitable, educational or access to justice program or project that is consistent with the mission of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation and makes an immediate impact on the way the county bar association serves its members, its community and its courts. Named in honor of PBA’s longtime County Bar Services Director Arthur J. Birdsall, the program awards $1,000 annually.
2010 Birdsall Grant Recipients
2010 Birdsall Impact Grants Awarded to Lackawanna and Montgomery Bar Associations
At its May 13 annual meeting of the Board of Directors and Members, the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Board of Directors unanimously voted to accept the recommendations of the 2010 Birdsall Grants Committee to bifurcate the 2010 Birdsall grant to allow the Foundation to support two commendable pro bono programs, one conducted by the Lackawanna Bar Association, the other by the Montgomery Bar Association. Each will receive a $500 grant.
The Lackawanna County Bar Association grant will help support the development and delivery of CLE programming to train Lackawanna County attorneys to provide pro bono representation to low-income homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure proceedings.
The Montgomery County Bar Association grant will be used towards the purchase of laptops and portable printers to support the Bar’s Wills for Heroes program, the pro bono program that brings together local first responders (police, firefighter, emergency medical technicians) with volunteer attorneys who prepare free wills and estate planning documents.
2009 Birdsall Grant Recipients
2009 Birdsall Grant Recipients PDF
2008 Birdsall Grant Recipients
2008 Birdsall Grant Recipients PDF