2020 Access to Justice Awards Benefit

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Event Details

Each year, our annual award event celebrates Philadelphia’s public interest community, civil legal aid organizations, and the businesses that partner with the Bar Foundation. In 2020, we will hold the first ever virtual Access to Justice Awards Benefit where our guests will have a one-of-a-kind experience and the opportunity give generously from their location.

Use this link to watch the livestream from October 20th!

You will have a better experience on a desktop computer, but tablet or mobile will also work.

The 2020 Access to Justice Awards Benefit is open for all to attend. The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. EST and is scheduled to be about 45 minutes. The program is a one-way livestream, so there is no need to dress up – just show up! During the event, we encourage you to LIVE CHAT with other attendees and Bar Foundation leadership through a chat feature on the event page.

Browse the event Program Book to learn more about our generous supporters and the outstanding achievements of our 2020 award winners:

Peter Shankman, best-selling author and angel investor, will be the evening’s keynote speaker. A frequent guest commentator on CNN, Peter has founded and sold three successful startups, written five books, and consulted for clients such as American Express, The US Department of Defense, Snapple Beverage Group, Walt Disney World, United Airlines, and many others. Rosemary Connors, NBC10 Anchor/Reporter, is our event emcee.


Interested in sponsorship? Thank you! Your 2020 sponsorship of this special event ensures that the Philadelphia Bar Foundation raises funds needed to support our 2020 grants. Businesses that support the legal industry or business community, and those who are simply interested in supporting the Philadelphia public interest community, are invited to participate in event sponsorship. (Law firms, please join us in our Unified Giving campaign!) Historically, our Access to Justice event attracts hundreds of legal professionals in celebration of the public interest community. This annual awards event provides a meaningful opportunity to put your company in front of a robust and engaged audience of legal industry professionals in a mutually beneficial partnership. This year’s virtual experience allows us to exceed our normal audience size, and provide marketing opportunities and viewership before, during, and after the event. Please read more about our Sponsorship Opportunities and complete the Sponsorship Form.


Event Highlights

At the Philadelphia Bar Foundation's 2020 Access to Justice Awards Benefit, our community will be honoring the recipients of our 2020 Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award and 2020 Pro Bono Award.

Kelly J. Gastley, Esq., Managing Attorney at Philadelphia VIP, and David Keller Trevaskis, Esq., Pro Bono Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Bar Association, will each receive the 2020 Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award which recognizes public interest attorneys who have dedicated their careers to the fight for equal access to justice.

Kelly J. Gastley, Esq., currently serves as the Managing Attorney for Philadelphia VIP, one of the Bar Foundation’s nonprofit partners. Gastley has dedicated her 15-year career to public interest work at VIP, securing representation for individuals, families, and organizations in need, including developing VIP’s Tangled Title Project to stem the tide of Philadelphia’s affordable housing crisis. She has served on the City Council Working Group that overhauled Philadelphia’s real estate tax collection process for owner-occupants as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Fraudulent Conveyance Task Force. She tirelessly advocates with judges, policymakers, and public officials on behalf of homeowners. It is estimated that Gastley has protected thousands of families in Philadelphia from homelessness. As Managing Attorney, she leads VIP’s legal team in recruiting, training, and supporting hundreds of volunteer attorneys.

David Keller Trevaskis, Esq. is a champion of access to justice, pro bono service, and public interest work. The first and only full time Pro Bono Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Bar Association since he was hired in 2001, Trevaskis coordinates civil legal aid services and clinics for thousands of Pennsylvanians in need each year. During his tenure at the PBA and previously at Temple Law, Trevaskis developed and implemented transformative youth educational programs in hundreds of Pennsylvania schools. An activist for conflict resolution through non-violence, he designed and launched Project PEACE (Peaceful Endings through Authorities, Children and Educators), a peer mediation, anti-bullying, and youth court program.

Comcast NBCUniversal and Dechert LLP will each receive the 2020 Pro Bono Award, which recognizes Philadelphia law firms or corporate legal departments that perform outstanding volunteer efforts in providing legal services to those in need.

Comcast NBCUniversal’s Law Department has made exceptional contributions to the Philadelphia community through its Pro Bono Program. Launched in 2016, the program connects the company’s in-house legal department with a variety of pro bono opportunities. Attorneys partner with many of the Bar Foundation’s nonprofit partner grantees, and other nonprofits, to serve members of the community most in need. Recent efforts have included hosting, staffing, and sponsoring citizenship clinics, life planning documents’ clinics, and birth certificate clinics, in addition to supporting individual client work related to protecting the rights of children and seniors. Comcast’s program has taken innovative approaches to expanding pro bono participation, and Law Department leadership has prioritized and actively promoted pro bono service. As a result, engagement among employees at every level is consistently high.

Dechert LLP has a longstanding history of pro bono legal service, which is evidenced in their significant contributions to protecting civil rights and civil liberties of marginalized residents in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. In 2020, firm attorneys are providing a substantial commitment of time, resources, and litigation support to assist those who are incarcerated in jails or held at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. Many of these individuals are unable to social distance or practice hygiene, putting them at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. This essential, demanding work to protect lives is conducted with Bar Foundation nonprofit partners the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project. Across the firm, Dechert lawyers participate in at least 25 hours of mandatory pro bono work per year, resulting in thousands of hours of annual pro bono service in our communities.