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Pro Bono Service Recognition Dinner

Every April, the law school honors the students who have made service work a central component of their legal education, as well as the community partners and supervising attorneys who provide them with hands-on legal training and invaluable guidance. The event is an opportunity for the law school community to come together with its public- interest-minded stakeholders to share moving success stories, and to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of our student-advocates.

2015 Recognition Dinner

Scroll down for photos from this year’s celebration and a list of our 2015 pro bono recognition award winners.

Volunteers of the Year 

Student volunteers are nominated by project leaders for their outstanding commitment and for the superlative quality of their work.

Student Project Volunteer
Animal Law Project Jacob Purcell
BLSA’s Project PEACE Alex Bedrosyan
Custody and Support Assistance Clinic Natalie Feigenbaum
Criminal Records Expungement Project Julia Bogdanovich
Civil Rights Law Project Ryan Smith
Employment Advocacy Project Andrew Schlossberg
Environmental Law Project Alexandra Hamilton
Financial Literacy Project Ari Buchen
Guild Food Stamp Clinic Laura Luisi
Health Law and Policy Project Jonathan Lai
International Human Rights Advocates Sarah Tufano
Innocence Project Catherine Eagan
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project Chelsea Edwards
James Wilson Project Melisa Olmos

Andrew D’Aversa (PILCOP)

Dorian Simmons (SDAS

Legal Education Partnership Jon Kaplan
Pardon Me Project

Albert Pak (Pardon Me)

Francis Petrie (Probation Termination)

Penn Housing Rights Project Jacqueline Rugart
Penn Law Advocates for the Homeless Sarah Arrow
Penn Law Immigrant Rights Project Rebecca Kopplin
Penn Law Students for Reproductive Justice Casey Kranin-Rush
Servicemembers and Veterans Legal Assistance Project Kenny Rich
Street Law Gabriel Lee
Students Agasint Gender Based Exploitation Janice Kong
Urban Ventures Project Lacey Nemergut
Women’s Re-entry Legal Services Estee Ward


Excellence in Leadership Award

Students are nominated externally for this award, which recognizes project leaders who have demonstrated exceptional management skills and visionary commitment to advancing the missions of the projects they serve.

Student Project Leader
BLSA’s Project PEACE Megan Smith
Custody and Support Assistance Clinic Margaret Zhang
Criminal Record Expungement Project Colin Mcgrath
Environmental Law Project Marie Logan
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project Ben Johnson
James Wilson Project Rachel Shack

Josh Oppenheimer (PILCOP)

Richard Shepard (SDAS)

Penn Housing Rights Project Kristin Treager
Penn Law Advocates for the Homeless Gabrielle Antonello
Penn Law Students for Reproductive Justice Russell Hoffman
Servicemembers and Veterans Legal Assistance Project Stephen Iacovo
Students Against Gender Based Exploitation Alyssa Anzalone-Newman
Women’s Re-entry Legal Services Yosha Gunasekera


The Toll Public Interest Center Outstanding Leadership Award

The Toll Public Interest Center presents this award to student project leaders who embody the highest qualities of leadership and the public interest spirit. Over the course of the school year, these students have distinguished themselves as inspirational executives and tireless advocates.

Student Project Leader(s)
Guild Food Stamp Clinic

Katy Akopjan

Danny Nuzzaci


Student Legacy Awards

This award recognizes graduating 3L’s who have launched new pro bono projects during their time as students. We honor these students’ entrepreneurial spirit, their passion for equal access to justice, and their important contributions to Penn Law, Philadelphia, and communities beyond.

Student Project Name
Innocence Project Britney Wilson
Animal Law Project Justin Rand 

Community Partner Legacy Awards

 This award honors our wonderful community partners, who have invested significant time and resources in our students, and who have, through the conferral of skill-building work opportunities and outstanding supervision, been instrumental to their development as effective and innovative advocates.

Fernando Chang-Muy

Philadelphia Legal Assistance 

2014 Recognition Dinner