HARRISBURG (April 27, 2022) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) LGBTQ+ Rights Committee will present its 2022 David M. Rosenblum LGBTQ+ Public Policy Award to Gerald L. “Jerry” Shoemaker, shareholder at Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller in Plymouth Meeting, at an awards ceremony during the PBA Annual Meeting, May 11-13 in Hershey.
Rosenblum, an active member of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee and a staunch proponent of civil rights, passed away suddenly in 2014. He was a driving force behind the report, “How Marriage Counts: 572 Ways Marriage Counts in Pennsylvania,” a joint publication of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee, the Mazzoni Center and Dechert LLP. Rosenblum was the legal director at the Mazzoni Center. The award honors individuals who have effected change resulting in a positive impact for the LGBTQ+ community and who have used his or her position of leadership to inspire others to act and promote civil rights and equality.
A founding member of the PBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee, Shoemaker served as chair from 2015-2021 and currently serves as education liaison. While a member, Shoemaker collaborated to present the Joint Recommendation for Marriage Equality to the PBA, which was adopted by the PBA House of Delegates to be policy of the association. While chair, Shoemaker gained consensus to change the name of the committee from the GLBT Rights Committee to the LGBTQ+ Rights Committee to make the committee more inclusive, diverse and equitable. He also helped create the Transgender Name Change Task Force seeking to change the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure to protect the privacy of transgender persons petitioning for name changes to reflect their true identifies.
Shoemaker’s other activities include serving as secretary of the PBA Family Law Section and as a Zone 9 delegate to the PBA House of Delegates. In addition, he is an alum of the Pennsylvania Bar Leadership Institute and is a frequent lecturer on family law topics.
At the county level of the organized bar, Shoemaker serves as a member of the Executive Committee for Montgomery County Bar Association’s Board of Directors, chair of the association’s Family Law Section Support Committee and co-chair of its Diversity Committee. At the national level, he serves as an editor for the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section quarterly publication, Family Advocate.
At his firm, Shoemaker concentrates his practice in domestic relations issues, including equitable distribution, alimony, custody and support matters. He has handled a variety of issues regarding same-sex relationships.
Throughout his legal career, Shoemaker has advocated for people in need. He offers free legal clinics at the Women’s Center of Montgomery County, an organization that focuses on freedom from domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Shoemaker also volunteers with the Volunteers for the Indigent Program in Philadelphia by providing free legal representation to indigent people in family law matters. He also is a board member of the Regional Center for Women in the Arts.
Shoemaker is a member of the Doris Jonas Freed American Inn of Court, focusing on family law in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. He was recently admitted to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and was named one of the Greater Philadelphia region’s Ten Leaders in Divorce Law, 45 & Under, by the Ten Leaders Cooperative.
Shoemaker earned his B.A. from Duquesne University and his J.D., Order of the Barristers, from University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
For more information on the PBA Annual Meeting, visit https://www.pabar.org/pdf/2022/AnnualMeeting2022.pdf.
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.