HARRISBURG, Pa. (July 27, 2023) — Sara A. Austin, a partner at Austin Law Firm LLC in York, received the annual Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Solo and Small Firm Section Award during the section’s annual conference July 26-28 at Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford.
The award honors an individual lawyer who, or law firm that, has enhanced the professional reputations and abilities of solo and small firm attorneys in Pennsylvania.
Austin served as the first woman PBA president from York County and the third woman president in the history of the PBA during her 2016-17 term. Traveling the state during her tenure, she addressed issues facing the organized bar, met with county bar association leaders and spoke in support of lawyers’ work to help Pennsylvanians.
Her experience as a PBA leader carries over to her role within the Solo and Small Firm Section. A former chair and current member of the Section, Austin uses the section’s Listserv to respond to members’ inquiries, offer practice management tips and share information with colleagues. Often, her extensive professional connections provide a large audience to generate support for legal positions relevant to solo and small firm practitioners. In addition, her interactions with colleagues bring a spotlight to the section’s beneficial programs, such as mentoring and videos that offer guidance for lawyers starting solo and small firm practices. While chair of the section in 2017-19, Austin was instrumental in developing sessions for a “Starting Your Own Firm” class at Widener University Commonwealth Law School, where she serves as an adjunct professor.
Active in numerous PBA committees and sections, Austin is co-chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession Executive Council and Governance Subcommittee; member of the Bylaws and Membership Development committees; and member of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section. She also sits on the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Board of Directors and serves as chair of the foundation’s Governance & Bylaws Committee.
Austin is a Pennsylvania delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates and has been active in the ABA Young Lawyers Division and the ABA Labor and Employment Law, General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Practice, and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice sections along with various ABA committees. In addition, she is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation, past president of the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association and member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Within her local organized bar, Austin has served as former president of the York County Bar Association (YCBA), former chair of the YCBA Young Lawyers Section and former treasurer and board member of the York County Bar Foundation. She also serves on numerous YCBA and foundation committees.
Giving back to the community, Austin serves on the board of directors of York Day Nursery. Previously, she served on the board of directors of the Community First Fund, the Rotary Club of York and the York Symphony Orchestra. She also is a former president of Leadership York and the York Spanish American Center.
At her firm, Austin represents business and individual clients regarding bankruptcy, civil litigation, employment, estate, homeowners/condominium, landlord/tenant and real estate issues.
Austin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at The College of William & Mary.