Philadelphia Lawyer to Receive PBA Commission on Women in the Profession Norton Award

HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 14, 2024) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP) will present its annual Lynette Norton Award to Jennifer S. Coatsworth, a partner at Margolis Edelstein, Philadelphia, on May 8 at the WIP Annual Conference during the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Annual Meeting in Hershey.

The Norton Award was created in memory of Lynette Norton, a founding member of the PBA WIP, who died in 2002. Norton was an advocate for young women in the legal profession and worked to promote literacy and women’s rights. The award recognizes and encourages female attorneys who excel in litigation skills and who are devoted to mentoring female lawyers.

Since joining the PBA in 2003, Coatsworth has been active on numerous WIP committees, which have provided her opportunities to mentor other female attorneys. Currently, she serves as co-chair of the Nominations Subcommittee. Previously, she served as chair, co-vice chair and treasurer of the Executive Council, chair of the Annual Conference Committee and co-chair of the Awards and Fall Retreat committees. She is also a member of the Diversity Committee, Legislative Committee, Quality of Life Subcommittee and Spring Conference Committee. A leader for WIP well-being programs and events, Coatsworth was part of a team that helped develop the WIP Quality of Life Toolkit and she drafted a wellness pledge recommendation for consideration by the PBA Board of Governors and PBA House of Delegates.

In addition, within the PBA, Coatsworth is a past zone governor representing Philadelphia attorneys on the Board of Governors. She is a past chair of the Civil Litigation Section and member of several committees, including the Civil and Equal Rights, LGBTQ+ Rights and Minority Bar committees. Coatsworth has been a voting member of the PBA House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body, since 2013.

In her local professional community, Coatsworth serves as the 97th chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. She has held various positions on the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors, including chancellor-elect, vice chancellor, secretary, assistant secretary, assistant treasurer and parliamentarian. Previously, she was the secretary and vice chair of the association’s Young Lawyers Division and co-chair of the Mentorship and Professional Development and Women in the Profession committees. In addition, she is a trustee of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and a past chancellor of the Louis D. Brandeis Law Society.

Recognized for her work and volunteerism, Coatsworth’s accolades include receiving the PBA C. Dale McClain Quality of Life/Balance Award; Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association 2022 Ally of the Year Award; Temple Law Alumni Association Women’s Champion Award; and The Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel inaugural Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement Award. In 2023, she was named to the City & State Pennsylvania list of 100 women leaders in diversity.

A partner in her firm, Coatsworth focuses on motor vehicle, dealer fraud and lemon law cases from both the plaintiff and defense perspectives. She also defends professionals, including accountants, home inspectors, physicians and real estate agents. Frequently, she defends fraternal organizations against claims for liability.

Coatsworth received her Juris Doctor from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland Honors College, where she graduated cum laude.