Harrisburg, PA - (March 3, 2020) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) presented County Bar Recognition Awards to the Montgomery Bar Association during the 54th Annual Seminar of the Conference of County Bar Leaders, Feb. 27 – 29, at The Hotel Hershey, Hershey.
Recognized for its Access to Justice Summit and reentry simulation, Reentry Day and Legal Aid Golf Classic projects, the Montgomery Bar Association is one of 23 local bar associations in Pennsylvania honored this year for sponsoring projects that improve the legal profession, justice system or community. The awards are presented annually by the PBA.
“Each year, members of local bar associations conduct important projects and programs to better their communities,” said PBA President Anne N. John. “We are proud to recognize these good works and applaud the efforts of the many volunteers that contributed to their success.”
Access to Justice Summit and Reentry Simulation
In May, the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Conference Center hosted the Montgomery Bar Association and Montgomery Bar Foundation Access to Justice Summit and a special reentry simulation exercise. A wide range of participants, including county officials, judges, association members and nonprofit leaders, heard first-hand accounts of people who reentered society following incarceration and then took part in a hands-on simulation exercise allowing them to experience the challenges of someone leaving jail with nothing. This simulation, presented in cooperation with the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender, illustrated how difficult it can be to maintain employment, comply with court supervision and meet familial obligations when necessities like transportation and housing are out of reach. With the Access to Justice Summit as a blueprint, the 2019 Montgomery Bar Association Leadership Academy was tasked with organizing a model to harness the resources of the association and its foundation, county government and nonprofit leaders. Three of the largest needs identified at the summit became hands-on clinics to help people obtain identification, find gainful employment and expunge eligible convictions from their records.
In June, Montgomery Bar Association, its Leadership Academy and Montgomery Bar Foundation took a first step in working to address systemic issues facing citizens who are reentering society following incarceration. The first Montgomery Bar Association Reentry Day brought together service providers, nonprofits, association members and volunteers to develop a model for helping this vulnerable population. Reentry Day participants had access to a comprehensive resource fair, featuring live representatives, information and resources from over two dozen agencies and community organizations. Additionally, an identification clinic, employment clinic and expungement clinic helped participants with some of the endemic challenges facing people reentering the community.
2019 Legal Aid Golf Classic
In June, Montgomery Bar Association and Montgomery Bar Foundation hosted its annual Legal Aid Golf Classic at the 1912 Club in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, golfers, raffle ticket buyers, a successful silent auction and the hard work of staff and volunteers, the event raised a record $54,000 for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Conference of County Bar Leaders, whose membership includes leaders from county bar associations throughout the state and from the PBA, 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.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.
Source: Pennsylvania Bar Association, 100 South Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101