Philadelphia Bar Foundation Announced 2024 Award Recipients

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is proud to announce that Marc Bookman, director of Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, will receive the 2024 Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award and Troutman Pepper will be honored with the 2024 Pro Bono Award. Frank McLellan will receive the Trailblazer Award, which will mark the fourth time the Philadelphia Bar Foundation has given out this prestigious award.

The awards will be presented at the Philly Justice Ball – For Justice Everywhere, our 60th anniversary celebration, on Saturday, November 9, 2024, at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The event will be emceed by WHYY’s Cherri Gregg.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation Award celebrates public interest attorneys who have dedicated their careers to the fight for equal access to justice. This Award was originally established in 1979 by the Apothaker family as the Louis D. Apothaker Award to memorialize the legal accomplishments and community work of the late Louis D. Apothaker, a past president of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

Marc Bookman has directed the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation since 2010 and is a nationally recognized expert on death penalty litigation. From 1993 to 2010, he served in the Homicide Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. During that time, he successfully argued for expanded discovery in death penalty cases, the right to quash an aggravating circumstance pre-trial, expanded voir dire, and other changes. None of his clients received a death sentence.

Since 1995, Bookman has presented on the death penalty at conferences sponsored by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He also has taught for numerous trainings sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. His essays on criminal justice issues have made the list of Notable Essays in The Best American Essays several times since 2010. His book, A Descending Spiral: Exposing The Death Penalty In Twelve Essays, was published in Spring 2021 by The New Press.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation Pro Bono Award recognizes area law firms and corporate legal departments for outstanding volunteer efforts and a commitment to expanding pro bono legal services. As the 2024 Pro Bono Award recipient, Troutman Pepper will be recognized for creating and supporting The Pepper Center for Public Service, an innovative model that draws on the talents of the firm’s retired partners and senior attorneys. Led by founding Executive Director Amy Ginensky, the Center meets with national and local leaders and experts to better understand problems facing our communities, discuss potential solutions, and develop and staff public service projects to address unmet needs. Focus areas include public education, civics, and immigration.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation has only presented its Trailblazer Award three times in its sixty-year history. This year, we will add another name to that list as we honor the late Professor Frank McClellan with the award, which recognizes an extraordinary individual who led the way in creating equal access to justice for all in Philadelphia. Professor McClellan was a highly respected lawyer, civil rights advocate, law professor, and author. He was a law professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law for over three decades and served as the co-director of the Center for Health, Law, Policy, and Practice. In addition to his teaching, Professor McClellan was a member of numerous boards, including the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, the American Law Institute, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the National Institute of Health.

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation thanks its Unified Giving partners and sponsors for making the November 9th Philly Justice Ball possible. It looks forward to celebrating these awardees along with Philadelphia’s public interest community, civil legal aid organizations, and the law firms and businesses that partner with the Foundation to remove barriers to justice and engage the community in support of civil legal aid.