The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation’s Louis J. Goffman Awards program seeks to recognize and honor an individual and an organization whose commitments to pro bono have enhanced the delivery of legal services to Pennsylvania’s poor or disadvantaged, making a critical difference in the lives of those in need of legal representation. The recipients’ donations of time, talent and expertise serve as a model to be emulated by other legal professionals and organizations and since 1989, the Louis J. Goffman Awards have recognized and rewarded these exceptional people and organizations.
The 2021 Louis J. Goffman Award will be presented in May during the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s virtual Annual Meeting scheduled for May 20, 2021. Each recipient is presented with a commemorative plaque and a monetary contribution.
Any Pennsylvania-based individual or organization involved in the provision of volunteer legal services is eligible. This includes large and small firms, corporate law departments, government attorney offices, county bar associations, law schools and other legal services entities whose members, either collectively or individually, have demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following categories over the past year:
- Dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor through a pro bono program;
- Significant work towards the development of innovative approaches to the delivery of volunteer legal services
- Active participation in a program/project that satisfied a previously unmet or underserved legal need of a particular group of Pennsylvanians.
- Successful litigation of a pro bono case(s) that enhanced the delivery of other services to the poor.
- Successful pursuit of legislation that significantly enhanced the provision of legal services to the poor.
- Consideration will also be given to the length or intensity of service and the effort in context to the size of the organization/group.
Nominators may choose to nominate a worthy individual, organization or both. If there is more than one nominee, please submit separate nominations for each individual and/or organization submitted.
Each nomination should include the following:
- Nominee Information Sheet– Essential contact information about the nominee and the nominator. Provide names, addresses, phone, fax and e-mail information on principal participant(s) or organization. The attached Nominee Information Form must accompany each nomination.
- Nominee’s Resume – Resume or document that describes nominee’s background. If individual, include information about bar association membership and activities, hours spent in pro bono service, principal area of practice, number of years in practice, other public service commitments, and educational background. If group/organization, include information about the size of the group/organization, number of attorneys involved in the volunteer activity, number and kind of non-attorney volunteers if applicable, description of how the project/program is coordinated, approximate hours incurred on behalf of program/project, the pro bono policy of the group/organization and the number of clients represented in the past year.
- Nomination Narrative – Explains how the nominee meets the criteria for the Louis J. Goffman Award. Describes the nature of the pro bono activity and identifies those who benefited. May include articles, brochures and other materials that demonstrate the nominee’s pro bono contribution.
- Letters of Support – Other individuals or organizations who are familiar with the nominee’s contributions are encouraged to write letters in support of the nomination.
Please limit each nomination to 10-pages, including supporting materials. Please submit one copy to the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Goffman Awards Committee, P.O. Box 186, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0186 or send via e-mail to: Siena.McLees@pabar.org
The nomination deadline is April 15. No extension will be granted. The Louis J. Goffman Awards Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation will review the nominations and select the award recipient(s). All committee decisions are final and binding.