Widener Law Observes National Pro Bono Week
Public Relations and Web Editor - Published: October 18, 2013
ProBonoWeek235pxThroughout the week of October 21st, Widener Law's Harrisburg campus will be observing National Pro Bono week.

National Pro Bono Week was launched in 2009 by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to spotlight pro bono efforts and encourage greater participation by lawyers nationwide. Starla J. Williams, director of the Public Interest Initiative, is organizing the events.

Widener Law is introducing two new awards that honor members of the Pennsylvania legal community as part of the National Pro Bono Week observation.

The school will give its inaugural Pro Bono Recognition Award to Sandra Ballard, Esq. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from noon to 1 p.m. in The Pit. Widener will then honor Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin with its inaugural Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Pro Bono Service Provider Award on Thursday, Oct. 24 at an event that runs from 4 to 6 p.m. in the campus administration building reception room. Both are open to the public and the media is encouraged to attend.

Ballard’s honor recognizes her for substantial mentoring services she has provided to Widener Law students with pro bono interests. She is the pro bono/public services coordinator for the Dauphin County Bar Association.

Eakin’s honor recognizes him as an individual who, through his position in the legal system, has worked to create pro bono opportunities for Widener Law students. He was elected an associate justice on the state’s highest court in 2001 and retained in 2011.

“Learning through public service is part of the culture at Widener Law,” Williams said. “We are excited to share in this celebratory week spearheaded by the ABA. It is a fitting time to honor Ms. Ballard and Justice Eakin for all they do to support Widener’s pro bono commitment.”

“This week of events and awards is a wonderful way to call attention to the importance of pro bono service,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons added. “I hope Sandra Ballard and Justice Eakin serve as an inspiration to fellow members of the bar. They are examples of what is possible when attorneys put the words ‘and justice for all’ into action.”

The full schedule of events for the week includes:
  • Monday, October 21, 2013: 12:00 noon KICK OFF
    PRO BONO RESOURCE TABLE IN THE PIT
    The Public Interest Initiative will feature publications of interest to law students, including PRO BONO CONNECTION, the official pro bono newsletter of the American Bar Association.

  • Tuesday, October 22, 2013: All Day DAY OF SERVICE TRAINING
    POLICY & PIZZA IN THE PIT: IMPROVING ACCESS TO JUSTICE THROUGH PRO BONO SERVICE
    Mini-training sessions throughout the day will inform law students of the many benefits of providing pro bono service in the Harrisburg Civil Law Clinic, nonprofit organizations and government agencies; Professor J. Palmer Lockard, II will speak on the public value of pro bono service.

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2013: 12:00 - 1:00 pm PRO BONO PROFILES
    DAUPHIN COUNTY BAR PRO BONO RECOGNITION LUNCH
    Sandra Ballard, Esquire will be recognized for her outstanding efforts to promote quality legal assistance to low and moderate income families through the Dauphin County Bar Association Pro Bono Program. Law students will share their experiences volunteering at the Dauphin County Bar Association and Mid-Penn Legal Services in Pro Bono Profiles.

  • Thursday, October 24, 2013: 4:00 - 6: 00 pm AWARD CEREMONY
    COMMONWEALTH PRO BONO SERVICE PROVIDER AWARD
    Widener Law School will honor Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, who will accept the Commonwealth Pro Bono Service Provider Award in appreciation for his role in ensuring that Widener Law students offer pro bono services to the Commonwealth. Law students will share their recent pro bono experiences in the chambers of Justice Eakin. A reception follows the award ceremony in the Administration Building Reception Room.

  • Friday, October 25, 2013: 1:00 - 6: 00 pm PRO BONO COACHING
    COACHING TO CONNECT WITH PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES
    Widener Law students complete a short Legal Skills & Values Inventory checklist to assess practice-readiness and to identify pro bono placements that develop legal practice skills. Professor Williams will offer personalized “pro bono coaching” to connect law students with pro bono opportunities that correspond to specific practice areas or career interests.