Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) honored Ballard Spahr with its Champion of Justice Award, presented at the organization’s annual Breakfast of Champions on June 3.

The award recognizes the firm’s commitment to the cause of equal justice for all, and its efforts to ensure that low-income Philadelphia residents have access to representation and education on legal issues that affect them. In addition to providing substantial long-term financial support for CLS initiatives, the firm regularly collaborates with CLS on pro bono referrals. In a recent class action, Ballard Spahr attorneys served as co-counsel in a successful effort to help refugees and asylees obtain or regain disability benefits jeopardized by federal government delays in processing citizenship applications.

“Ballard Spahr can take credit for providing services to hundreds of low-income people in need of a lawyer,” said CLS Executive Director Catherine Carr. “Starting with firm Chair Arthur Makadon, the incredible energy, judgment, and steadfast support of its lawyers have been invaluable over the years.”

Ballard Spahr partner Jason A. Leckerman serves on CLS’s Board of Trustees, acting as its treasurer. Mary Gay Scanlon, Executive Director of the firm’s Pro Bono Program, is also a former board member. In 2008, the firm established an externship through which a Ballard Spahr associate joined CLS’s Family Advocacy Unit for a year.

“Everything we provide to CLS, whether legal services, personnel, or monetary contributions, helps people who desperately need and deserve assistance, so we will continue to support the work of Cathy Carr and her staff in any way we can,” Mr. Makadon said. “We also applaud our partner Jason Leckerman and others at the firm who give so generously of their time to CLS and its clients.”

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