Ballard Spahr’s Clemency Project Team will be honored today with the 2015 Alan J. Davis Award for exemplary public service. The $25,000 cash prize, presented by firm Chair Mark Stewart, will be donated to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, earmarked for Clemency Project.

Clemency Project 2014 addresses inmates serving disproportionately harsh prison terms for minor offenses after being sentenced under the mandatory sentencing laws of the late 20th century. Eighty-five Ballard Spahr lawyers have volunteered to help nonviolent, long-term federal prisoners to petition for clemency—forgiveness of the remainder of their term of incarceration.

Partner Marjorie J. Peerce will accept the award. As a member of the working group that developed the initiative, Ms. Peerce helped to design training materials, navigate thorny ethical issues, and recruit and mentor volunteer lawyers. She continues to work with the steering committee of Clemency Project and to conduct screening of clemency candidates.

More than 1,500 attorneys across the country have volunteered to screen applicants and prepare clemency petitions for approximately 30,000 inmates. Ballard Spahr lawyers have already filed one formal clemency petition and undertaken screening for nearly 50 other applicants

The Obama administration has already issued two rounds of clemency grants. A third round is expected by the end of June.

The Alan J. Davis Award is named for the late Philadelphia City Solicitor and distinguished Ballard Spahr litigator who was deeply devoted to public service.