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June 24, 2019

Philadelphia Bar Association Becomes First in the Nation, Five-Time Winner of Prestigious American Bar Association Award

2019 Harrison Tweed Award Celebrates Task Force’s Work to Fund Right-to-Counsel for Indigent Philadelphia Tenants Facing Eviction

The Philadelphia Bar Association announced today that it has been selected for a historic fifth time by the American Bar Association (ABA) for the Harrison Tweed Award, making it the first bar association in the country to be a five-time winner of one of the ABA’s most prestigious honors.

The Philadelphia Bar Association was selected as a 2019 Harrison Tweed Award winner based on the work the association and its Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force has undertaken to improve access to justice and create a right to counsel for eligible low-income Philadelphia tenants who are facing eviction. A recent example of this work includes the trailblazing Stout Report, an economic impact study commissioned by the Philadelphia Bar Association, which detailed the economic justification for funding legal counsel for all eligible tenants, helping to usher in the introduction of legislation in the Philadelphia City Council establishing a legal defense fund and “Right to Counsel” for all eligible low-income tenants.

“We are tremendously honored to be the first bar association in the country to be a five-time winner of one of the highest honors recognizing the work of expanding access to justice for all citizens,” said Association Chancellor Rochelle M. Fedullo. “The Harrison Tweed Award is a wonderful celebration of the work over the last decade of the Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force, particularly the groundbreaking work to advocate for legal counsel for low-income, Philadelphia tenants facing eviction.”

The presentation of the award will take place on Friday, August 9th in San Francisco during the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting at a joint luncheon of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, National Association of Bar Executives and National Conference of Bar Foundations.

The Harrison Tweed Award, named for an outstanding national leader in the promotion of free legal services to people living in poverty, was created in 1956 and recognizes the extraordinary achievements of bar associations to help provide access to justice for indigent individuals.

The Philadelphia Bar Association’s full nomination packet – detailing the work of the Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force, which the award selection celebrates – can be viewed here.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force was created by the Philadelphia Bar Association to focus on developing creative strategies to improve access to justice and a right to counsel through a number of innovative projects addressing the legal needs of low-income members of the community.

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