Pennsylvania Bar Association to Honor Berks County Bar Association Executive Director With Birdsall Award

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 14, 2024) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Conference of County Bar Leaders (CCBL) will honor Kori Walter, executive director of the Berks County Bar Association (BCBA), with its annual Arthur J. Birdsall Award. The award will be presented during the 58th Annual Conference of County Bar Leaders on March 1 in Gettysburg.

The award is given to a county bar executive who demonstrates professional excellence, who is committed to the success of his or her bar association and who significantly enhances the stature of his or her bar association. It is named in honor of Arthur J. Birdsall, a former PBA county bar services director who provided support to local bar associations for nearly 40 years.

Since assuming the BCBA executive director role in 2018, Walter has worked with his team to improve program content for and increase attendance at events, including the Bench Bar Conference, the Law Foundation’s Holiday Benefit Luncheon, the Past Presidents’ Dinner and the annual golf tournament and picnic. To encourage member participation in a wide range of activities, Walter implemented a series of electronic notices for all events, including “last-call” reminders to boost awareness.

Notable initiatives under Walter’s direction include:

  • Coordinated pro bono clinics every seven weeks in 2023 – 75 BCBA members volunteered and more than 300 people received legal services.
  • Added three new membership categories – Retired Members, Senior Members and Law School Students.
  • Executed plan to promote jury diversity within Berks County – meetings with human resources representatives and Chamber of Commerce personnel, and townhall meetings with the public.
  • Moved association to new all online system for efficiency – dues payment, lawyer referrals and member benefits/services.
  • Added member services – more family events, such as hockey games and amusement park outings.
  • Increased attendance at the Bench Bar event – more than 50% of the BCBA membership attended.
  • Taken steps to help protect consumers in Reading and Berks counties from Unauthorized Practice of Law – meetings with district attorney’s office and mayor’s office officials.

A regular supporter of the CCBL, Walter attends the conference each year and encourages others to participate. In addition, he is active in the Pennsylvania Association of Bar Executives.

The CCBL, whose membership includes leaders from county bar associations throughout the state and from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, organizes a yearly educational conference focusing on the exchange of innovative bar association projects and ideas and on the development of mutually beneficial relationships among bar leaders that improve the legal profession.