Philadelphia VIP, the leading pro bono legal services referral agency for the city’s poor, honored Ballard Spahr last week for its outstanding pro bono work in 2013. The firm won the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Award in the large law firm category.

Ballard Spahr’s relationship with the agency goes back to its founding more than 30 years ago. In presenting the award, VIP noted that, in addition to being a “go-to” firm for a wide range of legal issues, Ballard Spahr had inaugurated an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day legal clinic for small businesses that it hosts with VIP and the Delaware Valley Association of Corporate Counsel. This is the second time that Ballard Spahr has won the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Award.

“We are honored by the recognition of our pro bono efforts, but, frankly, VIP makes it easy,” said Mary Gay Scanlon, Ballard Spahr’s Pro Bono Counsel. “With the training and support that VIP provides, and the range of pro bono opportunities it offers—everything from helping relatives obtain guardianship of a disabled child, to protecting seniors from fraud, to helping small businesses succeed—there is no excuse to not do pro bono work.”

Founded in 1981, Philly VIP delivers free legal services to low-income Philadelphians facing civil legal problems that threaten their access to shelter, employment, financial stability, education, and health. The organization’s staff and volunteers serve more than 2,500 clients a year.

Each year, Ballard Spahr attorneys contribute more than 30,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a range of recipients including nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and arts groups.

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