Board Observer Program

The award-winning Board Observer Program (BOP) serves a unique role for young lawyers and local nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia region. This program provides young lawyers with the opportunity to volunteer and serve as an Observer on a nonprofit board of directors. Board Observers learn about local legal services organizations and other nonprofits. They also gain leadership skills and strengthen their professional networks in ways that help them succeed in their future careers.

Participating nonprofits benefit from the energy and new ideas of these young lawyers and the broader nonprofit community is strengthened.

BOP is a partnership between the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, the Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association (DLSC), and the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association (YLD). Young lawyers experience first-hand the value of legal aid and other social services for people in need.

After completing their BOP year, many Board Observers continue serving in nonprofit board and leadership roles. Board Observers have often initiated innovative fundraising and program ideas for nonprofits in the Philadelphia region.

The Board Observer Program received the 2014 LexisNexis "Partnerships For Success" Award of the National Conference of Bar Foundations. The Award honors innovative and successful bar foundation / bar association partnerships.

2024 Participating Organizations: 

AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania

Atlantic Center for Capital Representation

Canine Partners for Life

CASA of Philadelphia County

CORA Services, Inc.

Education Law Center-PA

Girls Rock Philly

Healthy NewsWorks

HIAS Pennsylvania

Homeless Advocacy Project

Interfaith Philadelphia

Legal Clinic for the Disabled

Main Line Art Center

Pathways to Housing PA

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Rock to the Future

SeniorLAW Center

The Clay Studio

The Library Company

Tiny Dynamite


Details about the BOP Program

2023 BOP Participating Nonprofit Organizations

2022 BOP Participating Nonprofit Organizations

2021 BOP Participating Nonprofit Organizations

2020 BOP Participating Nonprofit Organizations

2019 BOP Participating Nonprofit Organizations

2018 BOP Participating NonProfit Organizations