Norristown Lawyer Mary Cushing Doherty to Receive Service Award from PBA Family Law Section

HARRISBURG (May 29, 2018) — Mary Cushing Doherty, a partner at High Swartz in Norristown, will be presented with the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Family Law Section Eric Turner Memorial Award on July 14 at the section’s Summer Meeting in Hershey. 

The Eric Turner Memorial Award honors a lawyer who is dedicated to the practice of family law and who serves as a mentor and teacher to fellow lawyers.

As part of the award, a $1000 donation will be made to the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a charity selected by Doherty.

Throughout her more than 35 years of practice, Doherty has been invested in the advancement of family law practice and women’s issues in the practice of law.

An active member of the legal community, Doherty has held numerous leadership positions in the PBA, including chair, officer and council member of the Family Law Section and chair of the Review and Certifying Board tasked with developing and implementing a certification process for various practice areas. Last year, she was recognized with a Special Achievement Award for her service in navigating a divorce reform bill through the General Assembly — one of the many contributions she has made since joining the section in 1979. Doherty is currently a member at-large of the Commission on Women in the Profession Executive Council.

She tackled gender bias and domestic violence issues impacting residents of the commonwealth via her work on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System and the Attorney General Family Violence Task Force. Appointed in 1995, she currently serves on advisory committees dealing with domestic relations and assisted reproduction technologies for the Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania.

A frequent course planner and lecturer, Doherty participates in seminars and meetings held by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, state and local bar associations and law schools. She received an Award of Professional Excellence in Programming from the Association for Continuing Legal Education for a course on drafting marital settlement agreements in 1997.

In addition to membership at the PBA, Doherty is a member of the American Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers — Pennsylvania Chapter, Doris Jonas Freed Inn of Court and Professionals for Amicable Divorce. She has held numerous leadership positions for several of these organizations, including: chair of the Family Law Section, a Family Law delegate to the Board of Governors and a member of the Judicial Selection Commission of the Philadelphia Bar Association; chair of the Montgomery Bar Association Family Law Section; president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers — Pennsylvania Chapter; and member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Board of Directors.

Throughout her career, Doherty’s work and service have been recognized with several awards, including the PBA Commission on Women in Profession 2012 Lynette Norton Award, 2012 Women of the Year list by The Legal Intelligencer, 2009 Woman of Distinction list by Philadelphia Business Journal, 2008 Frederick Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching and 2006 Margaret Richardson Award.

Doherty received a B.A. from the University of Delaware in 1975 and a J.D. from Villanova University in 1978.

For more information about the PBA Family Law Section Summer Meeting, July 12-15 at The Hotel Hershey, visit the PBA website at

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association exists to promote justice, professional excellence and respect of 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.