Celebrating our Partners and the Public Interest Community


By Meredith S. Auten, Acting President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s annual event celebrates Philadelphia’s public interest community, civil legal aid organizations, and the law firms and businesses that partner with the Bar Foundation to support the vibrant and essential civil legal aid system in our community. This celebration is more important than ever this year, as our nonprofit partners have been working tirelessly to help individuals and families across the community during an ongoing pandemic and increasing climate challenges. The 2021 Access to Justice Awards Benefit will be held on November 9, 2021 at 5:00 PM. The event is virtual again this year, and while we sincerely miss being together in-person, we promise another engaging experience. 

We are thrilled to honor this year’s incredible award recipients. Nilam A. Sanghvi, Legal Director at our nonprofit partner the Pennsylvania Innocence Project (and a former Officer and Trustee of the Bar Foundation for many years), will be receiving the 2021 Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award for her unwavering dedication to the fight for equal access to justice. White and Williams LLP is the recipient of our 2021 Pro Bono Award for their outstanding pro bono work, partnering with numerous civil legal aid organizations in Philadelphia to provide volunteer legal support for over three decades. We are especially excited to celebrate our third ever Trailblazer for Justice: William T. Coleman, Jr. Mr. Coleman, a native of the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, spent his career as an attorney, judge, and prominent political figure fighting to advance civil rights across the United States. The Trailblazer for Justice Award honors his life-long commitment to civil rights and the critical importance of the rule of law in a pluralistic democratic free society.   

Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses that support the legal industry or business community, and for those who are interested in supporting the Philadelphia public interest community. Law firms can support the Foundation by becoming a 2021 Unified Giving Partner. Along with the generosity of our individual donors, our Unified Giving partners make everything that we do at the Bar Foundation possible – supporting our nearly 40 nonprofit partners through grantmaking, and building system-wide capacity through programs, and fellowships, and much more. We look forward to celebrating all of our supporters’ commitment to the fight for equal access to justice on November 9th. There’s still time to become a Unified Giving partner and event sponsor – please visit our website at www.philabarfoundation.org to learn more. 

Registration for the 2021 Access to Justice Awards Benefit is now open. The event is free and open for all to attend. You can register on our website at www.philabarfoundation.org. This is proving to be another unprecedented year, and civil legal aid organizations and the public interest community stepped up once again. Please join us in celebrating and supporting their dedication and commitment to equal access to justice.