Lancaster County Lawyer Elisabeth Shuster to Receive First PBA Commission on Women in the Profession Special Achievement Award

HARRISBURG (Oct. 6, 2022) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Commission on Women in the Profession will present its inaugural Special Achievement Award to solo practitioner Elisabeth S. “Dolly” Shuster of Manheim on Nov. 4 during the Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP) Fall Retreat in Hershey.

This award recognizes achievements by a female member of the legal profession whose actions and work have promoted the betterment of women in the law and have enhanced services to women in general. The core purpose of the award is to recognize efforts by an individual who exemplifies the values and mission of the Commission on Women in the Profession, in addition to other accomplishments.

Shuster’s advocacy on behalf of women began while she was a student at Villanova University School of Law. She helped found the school’s Women’s Law Student Association and served as its first president, advocated for the school to develop its first Women in the Law course and provided parole hearing representation for women prisoners at Muncy Prison. Additionally, she contributed to the prison’s criminal law handbook for the women to use and taught classes in Post-Conviction Hearing Act petitions.

A staunch advocate for equal rights, Shuster served as deputy attorney general of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General through her tenure as chief counsel of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). Her work included organizing the PHRC legal office to implement anti-discrimination policies inherent to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, directing her staff to serve as a resource for claimants and advancing efforts to implement the act across the commonwealth. In addition, she represented the PHRC on the Governor’s Interagency Committee on AIDS.

In her private practice, Shuster consults and performs contract work in the areas of discrimination and employment law.

Active in the PBA, Shuster serves on numerous committees and sections, including the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession Executive Council, the commission’s Annual Conference, Diversity and Legislative committees and Governance Subcommittee; the Civil & Equal Rights, Minority Bar, and Immigration Law committees; and Civil Litigation and Labor and Employment Law sections. In 2020, Shuster received the PBA Civil and Equal Rights Champion Award.

Outside of the PBA, Shuster served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Judicial System, and the Gender Bias Subcommittee. She is active within the Lancaster Jewish Community and she has served as a Democratic Committee Woman.

One of Shuster’s nominators said: “Dolly is a trailblazer. Dolly has promoted women her entire career. … (she) is an attorney committed to the practice of law, mentoring female attorneys and public service.”

Shuster received a B.A. from Temple University and a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.

For more information on the PBA WIP Fall Retreat, visit