Lawyer Kathleen Wilkinson Tapped for PBA Quality of Life/Balance Award

HARRISBURG (Nov. 8, 2018) — Philadelphia lawyer Kathleen D. Wilkinson will be honored with the second Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) C. Dale McClain Quality of Life/Balance Award at Committee/Section Day in Harrisburg on Nov. 15.

Presented by the PBA Quality of Life/Balance Committee, the annual award recognizes the substantial contributions made by Pennsylvania attorneys in identifying issues relevant to balancing the professional and personal lives of their peers, as well as the progress made in assisting attorneys in maintaining and improving their overall quality of life.

The award is named after C. Dale McClain, one of the founders of the Quality of Life/Balance Committee and the 114th president of the PBA. McClain spent much of his career fulfilling the mission of the committee through educating attorneys on the importance of attaining a quality of life/balance in the practice of law.

Wilkinson, who is a partner at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, is being recognized for exemplifying the ability to balance work and life on a daily basis, managing to excel as a partner in a national law firm while raising three children and leading a number of law-related organizations. She is also a frequent presenter on this topic and attorney wellness to a wide variety of groups and devotes much of her time to mentoring others on how to achieve critical work/life balance.

Wilkinson has served on the PBA Board of Governors representing Philadelphia lawyers and in the PBA House of Delegates. She is chair of the PBA Civil Litigation Section and co-vice chair of the Quality of Life/Balance Committee. She is chair of the PBA Membership Engagement Blue Ribbon Panel on Millennials, Mothers and Minorities, and is a past chair of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession. Active in many committees, Wilkinson is a Council member of the Federal Practice Committee and a member of the Executive Council of the Commission on Women in the Profession. She is a zone one director of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. In addition, Wilkinson was a zone one director for the PABAR-PAC and co-chair of the 2007 PBA Midyear Meeting.

Wilkinson served in 2013 as the 86th chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, only the sixth woman to serve in that position in the association’s history. She has served in a variety of leadership roles in the Philadelphia Bar Association since 1998 when she co-chaired the association’s Women in the Profession Committee. She was a member of the bar association’s cabinet from 2005-2017 and served on the Board of Governors for 16 years.

Wilkinson has served on the boards of directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia Bar Foundation, the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP) and the Philadelphia Defender Association.

She received the Gilbert Nurick Award from the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders in 2014 for outstanding service to local bar associations. She was the recipient of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Anne X. Alpern Award in 2008 for her demonstrated leadership in the legal profession and community. The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly named her “Woman of the Year” in 2007-2008. She was named one of the top 50 Women Attorneys in Pennsylvania in 2018 by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.

Wilkinson is a founding member of Villanova University’s School of Law J. Willard O’Brien Inn of Court, was its first woman president in 2004 and serves as an Honorary Member of the Inn. 

She is a summa cum laude graduate of Kean University, which named her “Alumni of the Year” in 2010. She received her juris doctorate from the Villanova University School of Law. In 2013, the Villanova Law Alumni Association named her the recipient of the Gerald Abraham Alumni Association Award for service to the law school. She is also a member of the Alumni Association Board of the law school. 

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.