Samuel T. Gomez Award

Congratulations to the 2024 Samuel T. Gomez Award Recipients: Abena Ampofo and Reese Lemke!

The Samuel T. Gomez Award is presented annually by the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania to a law student who embodies, through his or her community service, Mr. Gomez’s commitment and compassion for the underserved. This award is designed to encourage and recognize outstanding and exemplary community service among law students, regardless of ethnicity, as evidenced by:

• Active participation in a legal services program;
• Advocacy on an individual and/or class action basis seeking equal access to medical care, housing, employment, and public assistance, or consumer issues, utility issues and INS issues;
• Advocacy on behalf of battered spouses and other victims of violence, and advocacy on behalf of the disabled and patients’ rights.

Because Mr. Gomez taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and graduated from the Temple University School of Law, the award alternates between these two schools. The award is presented at the annual dinner of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, in which Mr. Gomez was an active member and through which he was an advocate for community service.


2024 Recipients

Abena Ampofo, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Abena Ampofo is a second-year law student at Temple University Beasley School of Law. Before law school, she served as an Area Manager with Amazon Logistics, overseeing delivery operations and implementing lean processes. Abena also tutored middle school students in math through the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban Education. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and Africana Studies, with minors in Sociology and Swahili, from the University of Pittsburgh. Abena is a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Bucks County, offering support, mentorship, and positive role modeling to herLittle Sister. With her passion for law and a commitment to effecting positive change, Abena looks forward to leveraging her legal education as a tool for creating meaningful impact.

Reese Lemke, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Reese Lemke is a 1L at Temple Beasley School of Law who was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Africana Studies in 2021 from Franklin and Marshall College. Reese worked for two years in education. The first year she worked as a seventh grade math teacher at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School in Kensington, Philadelphia. The second year, she volunteered as an Americorp Vista for the University of Pennsylvania Netter Center for Community Partnerships. In these roles, she focused on serving the youth of Philadelphia through academia, managing home values, and encouraging self confidence. Reese is now exploring the legal field as another tool to expand her capacity as an educator and youth advocate in Philadelphia and beyond. 

Past Recipients

About Samuel T. Gomez, Esq.

This Award was established in memory of Samuel T. Gomez, Esq., a Philadelphia attorney whose life was dedicated to serving the underprivileged, disenfranchise

d and abused. Mr. Gomez spent his professional career at Community Legal Services. He was actively involved in his community, working with such organizations as Asian Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mayor’s Commission on Asian Pacific Affairs, and the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office. He lectured in immigration law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and worked closely with students in the clinical program.

Above all, Mr. Gomez was a courageous, compassionate and caring person.

Donations to the Samuel T. Gomez Memorial Fund may be sent to:

Philadelphia Bar Foundation
Samuel T. Gomez Memorial Fund
1101 Market Street, 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

For more information, please contact Jessica R. Hilburn-Holmes, Esq.